Clemency for Emmanuel Mendoza
Clemency for Emmanuel Mendoza
My name is Emmanuel Mendoza. I am a 30 year old man currently incarcerated under the California’s felony murder rule. I am serving a sentence of Life Without the possibility of parole (LWOP) I am entering my 11th year of being incarcerated.
Before I begin, I do not want to revictimize anyone whom was hurt by this crime for publishing the Change.org. Without getting to much into my case, I was convicted as an aider and abettor. I was involved in a robbery gone wrong, in which the victim was shot in the process and died. I was not implicated as the shooter, however, under the felony murder rule they do not have to prove I killed anyone, just that I was present during the commission of a crime.
The only true fact is that I agreed to serve as a decoy for the robbery. That is all it took to take my freedom away and sentence me to die in prison. I know you might be asking yourself what I must have done to find myself in prison doing such a sentence, and honestly, I ask myself the same question. I have never attempted to hurt someone, especially not to the point of death. I am not a killer. I was just a young, lost kid trying to fit into a place I thought I belonged. I am also not sitting here claiming to be a saint, I have made my share of mistakes in life, but not the kind that would land me in a prison cell until my death. As a juvenile, I ran with the wrong crowds, got into my share of fights, and smoked marijuana, all of which I got caught for and paid my debt to society in a juvenile detention center. After each offense, I tried not to repeat my mistakes. This is me being honest with you all. At the time this crime took place, I was coming out of my childish ways. I was nineteen, had a one-year old daughter, and had just welcome my new born son four months prior. I was trying to transition from a boy into a man and a good father. I have lost so much time with my kids that I cannot gain back. I recently had another daughter Kehlan’i Faith, in July 2020, the picture above is a simulated picture of my wife and I and what I envision our first photo together would look like. I have yet to meet Kehlan’i due to visiting closure due to covid regulations back in March 2020. Growing up with my own father incarcerated, I know what it can do to a child. The hurt and pain of feeling abandoned and not understanding why my father was gone.
While being incarcerated, I have been making positive strides to better myself and prepare for reentry to society. I have obtained my G.E.D. and I am currently enrolled in two separate colleges; Coastline and Folsom Lake College. I am only a few classes away from obtaining my A.A. Degree. I am the clerk of the welding vocational class and finishing my welding certification. I also participate and lead programs such as; Alternative to Violence , Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Lifers group, Criminal Gang Members Anonymous, Self Awareness & Recovery, regular religious programs and services and many other programs I have not mentioned. I have received milestones for high test scores in my educational achievements. I have also received recommendations for resentencing to Governor Newsom from high ranking CDCR officials, and I have a long list of community support organizations ready to assist me in my home coming. In 2018 I fully surrendered my life to Christ, and have been blessed with the path I am on. I am doing everything within my power to better myself, in any way possible, and prepare myself for the day of my release.
All I am asking for is a second chance at life. I have a wonderful family, who is waiting for me and wants me to succeed. I want to be in my kids’ lives and assure them they can be anything they want to be with hard work. I want to stop this cycle of kids coming to prison. I would like to help other troubled youth and share my experience with them. I am in fact already doing that through my wife Christina. She speaks to at Promise youth in Sacramento County and helps administer healing with the SARs Program to stop the school to prison pipe line. I often wonder if I had someone, with the similar circumstances as me, talk to me as a youth, it may have helped me understand that the life I was living was in no way cool and I would not gain from it. I also want to give back to the community. My wife and I have been giving back to children left behind by incarceration for years; giving birthday gifts, Christmas gift, Easter baskets to let them know they are not forgotten.
I believe, if given a chance, I can do so much good in the community and be a law-abiding citizen. All I need is a second chance to show people that I am not the same kid I was. I am a grown man that has accepted responsibility for my role in this tragic crime, I am remorseful and ready to redeem myself. Thank you for your time, I appreciate everyone who took the time to read this.
Organizational support include:
All Of Us or None Oakland
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
California Impacted Families Coalition
California State University Berkeley, Underground Scholars Initiative
Catholic Chaplin, CGA
Drop Lwop Coalition
Ella Baker Center
Fair Chance Project
Families United to End Life Without Parole- F.U.E.L
Family Unity Coalition
Fathers and Families of San Joaquin
Felony Murder Elimination Project
Freedom for Youth
HEALS Project-Helping End All Life Sentences
Legal Service for Prisoners with Children
Mary Mac Transitional Homes
Pride & Truth
Prison From The inside Out Inc.
Right to Protect
Self Awareness & Recovery
Silicon Valley De-Bug