Commute the sentence of Dontie S. Mitchell
This petition had 1,696 supporters
Dontie asked me to share his story:
I grew up poor in a dysfunctional home. My mom was addicted to drugs and suffered domestic abuse, often being beaten by an abusive boyfriend when I was a little boy, who could only watch helplessly. My father was never around and I wound up in foster care, going from one foster home to another, then group home to group home. I signed out of foster care at 16 years of age and was doing well, even starting my own business, until I fell on hard times ending up homeless and jobless.
That's when my short life of crime (10 months) began. I tried to sell drugs and got caught. Then, influenced by my step-cousin, I committed robberies. I didn't hurt or physically harm anyone and I take full responsibility for my behavior. I had just turned 17, when I was arrested for the robberies. Being young, black and poor, the odds were stacked against me and I was sentenced to 35 to 70. I was placed in maximum security prisons along with hardened, adult criminals...a dangerous and corrupting environment. I've adapted, making major strides to rehabilitate and better myself. While I don't claim to be a model prisoner, I've earned college credits through a program I'm currently enrolled in. I've earned certificates in legal research, public speaking, food service, computer operations and non-violent conflict resolution.
I also founded UFD, a mutual self-improvement fraternity to motivate and inspire young prisoners to change and better themselves. I try to be an asset to my community and to the society in which I live.
Through clemency, I'm asking for a chance at an early release. I've spent 21 years in prison -- over half my life -- and there's nothing to be gained by keeping me incarcerated. I want to return to society outside prison and help steer at-risk youth away from paths that lead to prison.
Will you support me? Please sign my petition. To learn more and help even more, please write to me: Dontie S. Mitchell #98A0071, Great Meadow Correctional Facility, PO Box 51, Comstock, NY 12821. Thank you.
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