Plea for Early Release for Mark Banks
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I am writing this petition on behalf of my husband Mark Banks, in hopes that mercy will be granted for him.
Before I start I would like to make it known that we are in no way minimizing the crime that my husband committed 30 years ago. It haunts him every day of his life. His remorse and sorrow for what he did is absolutely soul deep.
Mark is a good man that committed a devastating crime when he was a lost, angry teenager. A crime fueled not only by a mind altering drug, known on the streets as “Sherm” (a drug that research has shown to be so mind-altering that it could turn a “sweet grandma into a cold blooded killer”) but by the peer pressure that he felt to always do it bigger and better than everyone else because of his height. That Mark committed this crime is inconceivable to anyone that knew him. He was the protector of his family, the one that everyone turned to when they needed something.
Mark’s time in prison has been spent much the same way. He has mentored many, many of the young men in prison in a program called “Boys to Men”, teaching and counseling them to become true men. He taught them the skills to get out and change their lives by changing their thinking, to take care of their families and be honorable people. There have been several that have written him to thank him for turning them around. He still counsels the young men who come to prison, he is “Uncle” to many of them. Mark would like to continue this when he comes home, we are in the planning stages of opening a fitness center for troubled young men in downtown Las Vegas where he can continue the work he has done in prison on the streets. He feels that if he can just keep one young man from going down the path that he has taken it would have all been worth it.
There were others with Mark at the time of the crime and one of the men is in the same prison that Mark is. Mark and this man committed the same crime at the same time yet this man is eligible for parole in 2018 and Mark is not eligible until 2021. We do not believe that this is right. If the other man involved is eligible for parole in 2018 then Mark should be as well.
With the utmost respect, I, along with all of the family and friends that have signed this petition plead for the chance for Mark Banks to go to the parole board in 2018. He has paid the price for what he did with honor and dignity. He just wants to come home and spend the years that he has left making a difference in the lives of others.
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