Louisiana Prison System Needs To Change
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This is a story of a young adult who is now an older man that has been incarcerated in Louisiana's Prisons system since 1990. During his 28 years of incarceration He has never allowed his circumstances to dictate his behavior or change that person that he is. He has always been a hard working independent Individual, never shying from opportunitites to learn, always challenging himself to be and do better. His desire to be independent and responsible began in the eigth grade when searching the classified Ads. He found a job as he calls it "throwing newspapers" in his neighbor back home in Shreveport, Louisiana. He took this job at a young age to lift the burden off of his hard working mother who was providing and caring for her four children. Ronald stated "I continued this work ethic during my junior and high school years, working as a student janitor, and as a dishwasher and busboy at a Mexican restaurant." He graduated from Southwood High School and went to the Army for four years, doing stints in Germany, Kansas, Virginia, and Georgia before returning to his home town of Shreveport, Louisiana. After returning home he enrolled into American College and became a Certified Nursing Assistant. At this point in his life is when he says "trouble appeared". Here is the situation leading to what has cost him to be sitting inside of Angola's walls for 28 years. The situation brewed for more than a month before the deadly outcome. Defending himself from threats and accusations of being involved with the victim's girlfriend, Ronald did everything possible except run or call the authoriteis. Believing his life was in danger due to the constant threats at his personal apartment almost daily, as well as on his job one evening the victim approached with more deadly threats and this is when, in fear of his life Ronald shot the guy. Initially charged with aggravated battery, this was then upgraded to 2nd degree murder when the guy later died that night. After his indictment he was released on $25,000 bond until he was found guilty of the crime a year and nine months later. Ronald declined a plea bargain, believing he was not guilty due to the threats he was receiving and the fear he had for his life. He claimed self defense, but the DA did not agree and painted a horrendous picture of Ronald Walker. It was then Ronald was convicted with a 10-2 verdict. Arriving in Angola, despited the hard work, many obstacles, and learning about prison life- in a state where life means LIFE- he still strived to better himself always using his time wisely. In 1992, a paralegal program was established by the Northwest Missouri Community College, He graduated FIRST of his class. He later joined a group called Toastmasters where he overcame his fear of public speaking and becoming a competent toastmaster. That opportunity led to many more accomplishments. He became a staff writer for the prison magazine, The Angolite; a cameraman and interviewer and editor for the prison's TV station, LSP-TV; and becoming a certified sign language interpreter. These many accomplisments are jobs that he still obtains currently. He interprets for deaf offenders here, as well as deaf ex-offenders via video-conference for probation and parole in various parishes. As a member of the Point Lookkout Project, he attends funerals and burials for offenders who's family cannot afford to bury them or who's family simply have forgotten about them. "Once the immediate faimily dies a prisoner is usually forgotten by the next generation" says Ronald. The motto for the Point Lookout Project: Providing dignity for deceased prisoners. Ronald has and still remains as trustee, serves in many positive as well as Christian based organizations and at the age of 56 contiues to have faith that he will be released from prison and into society to make a difference. Ronald applied to the LA Board of Pardons two times (after serving seven and fifteen years), before he was granted a hearing on June 14, 2005. The pardon board members votedin June of 2015 unanimously 5-0 to communite Ronald's life sentence to 50 years. Governor Jindal did not sign the pardon when he left office. Ronald reapplied and was granted another favorable recommendation on August 16, 2017, the board voted unanimously 5-0 to reaffirm his previous recommendation. Now at this time all Ronald needs is for Governor John Bel Edwards' signiture to once and for all SET HIM FREE. "For this I have hoped and prayed for for many years", says Ronald Walker. Ronald stated, "Angola is the instiution of Higher Learning for those who remian optimistic. If a person can do the right things here, just imagine the difference one could make if given a second chance. Knowing that our neighborhood and society need role models. Just imagine the difference a voice of someone who has persevered through decades of mistakes and regrets could make in the lives of others- if given a chance." Ronald has a great support system of family and friends who look forward to welcoming him home and reestablish himself into society. I have no doubt the great accomplishments he will make when given a second chance outside those walls. Please sign this petition and set RONALD WALKER free!!
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