Free Claude Wiley Jr.

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 I am a casualty of the Mandatory Minimum sentencing guidelines. I received 395 months, for (2) ounces of crack cocaine for a non-violence offense. I was sentence at the age of 34. I am not eligible for parole. I would like to be free. I don’t want to die in prison.

  Though my out date is inconceivable, I have spent my time in a deep erudition. I have conquered my vague ideas of how society works in the hope of one day being a productive member of society.  Being in seclusion has given me time to recognize errors of my previous way of thinking.  I now strive to be a protector instead of a predator.  I grew up on the Southside of Chicago in a very loving working class family. My father instilled values, integrity, and character in me while my mother impressed upon me spiritual connectedness.  I joined the Zion Lutheran Church at the age of 9.

 My decision to engage in "street life" was a very bad decision. I began to see "hustling" as a means to the "fast life". My lack of knowledge ultimately took a toll on my health.   My nefarious path soon morphed into a maze of destruction.  My loving family lost me and I in turn lost myself. The "Gang" convinced me and I convinced others that this was the way out.  I became ambitious, negative, and detached from a righteous lifestyle. Lost ---- was the best way to describe me.  My family stayed in prayer hoping the phone would not ring in the middle of the night to confirm their deepest fears. I had eyes but couldn’t see the catastrophic trail I was leaving, I had ears but couldn’t hear the superior wisdom of my father, and a mouth but couldn’t verbalize I needed conflict resolution skills and help. My hero Claude Wiley Sr. departed this life on August 26, 2012. I sat in Terre Haute, FCI bewildered. My best friend was gone. My high security level meant I could not attend the funeral. A very sobering reminder of my careless choices of the past. Dark clouds getting darker. Today I speak openly about the past, the present, and my hope for the future. My name is Claude Wiley Jr. I am an American, a husband, father, a brother, an uncle, a son, and a believer in the power of redemption. I have come face to face with my past and I stand before it a different man.

 My deepest sympathy is for those who may have been a victim of my former readiness to commit crime.  I now recognize the value of human life ---- not just my own but the value of those I could have protected, helped and learned from.  I see and hear of the things going on in my community and I would like to help catch someone’s child and impress upon those who are also on the verge of being lost the idea of a more promising future.  I see myself in the young men & women who have been lured as I was into believing in everything except themselves. I even understand those who do the luring. Hurt people hurt other people.

  Though my outdate is 2035, I can still conceive saving someone from themselves so they won’t have to end up like me.  I have to beg for fresh air, plead for a chance to help raise my children, and hope to see a beautiful sunset with my Mother. I wish I could hold my mother. The man she loved the most passed away and left her standing all alone.  My life is no longer a daily puzzle. Time has crystallized my errors.

 I seek the highest forgiveness because I have the deepest regret. I have conquered my vague ideas on how society works in the hope of being a productive citizen.

Though my out date is 2035.  I hope my request will not fall on deaf ears.  I am a real person, I have feelings, and I live inside these lines. I spent 11 years learning, listening, and praying.  If I were given another chance, I would like to be someone people can count on. Thank You


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