Freedom for Thomas "Tommy" Vasquez
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In July 2007, I, Thomas Martin Vasquez, three months after turning 19 years of age, was arrested, held and later found guilty for the death of a young man and sentenced to L.W.O.P (Life Without the Possibility of Parole) plus 25 years to Life.
I humbly stand firm of my innocence in this unfortunate loss. But I refuse to minimize my actions that lead up to these crimes. After eleven years of incarceration and becoming a man of God, it weighs heavy on my heart that lives have tragically been affected by my decisions as a teenager. I have immense remorse towards the victim, his family, my family, myself and also society. This I will carry for the remainder of my existence.
In 2015, I said a prayer asking God to enable me to seek change and that I was tired of hurting others and myself. Thereafter, I found myself in a new prison and a new yard. A few men approached me and asked If I would like to attend church services. I said, yes, in need of a new path. In that same year, we started a Christian 12 step ministry called, “Walking the 12 steps with Jesus Christ,” a year program with mail correspondence. This program enabled me to address and identify the actions that landed me into prison to begin with. It was the door to my recovery. It became clear that my upbringing around alcohol, drugs, gangs as my surroundings were the core of the inevitable suffering of myself and others. After enduring much in prison and in my personal life, I easily accepted change at this point, as it became a desire in my heart. Finding my true self became a mission. I found myself in church more frequently, pursuing peace and love in my walk to recovery.
Thus far, I have remained disciplinary free, specifically with any violation in relation to violence. Due to my walk with Christ and the completion of self-help groups such as: Twelve steps with Jesus Christ, Bible institute, Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) both basic and advanced, Family life education class, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Youth Offenders Parole (YOP), Lifespan development, 12-week mental health course. I also have obtained Chronos for victim awareness, anger management and stress management.
Among these, I have studied and received my GED and I am currently pursuing my Associates Degree in Business Management. I am a barber and artist by hobby but long to make this a career and a permanent lifestyle.
I have endured much during my incarceration and have overcame over and over by having faith in God and in myself to become a productive individual. I have married my best friend I’ve known since childhood, who has encouraged and pushed me to dream of a life beyond these walls with a family of our own. Making every possible effort to not allow God’s calling on my life go in vain and also maintain an endurance towards positivity.
In closing, my only request is to please take the time to understand that I have matured into a man that is still able to achieve and accomplish goals. I assure you that I will continue my walk alongside God towards my pursuit to rehabilitation.
My name is Thomas, a man of God, a husband, a growing human being who is someone who has made mistakes in the past but continues to seek forgiveness, accountability and remorse throughout my life with nothing more than a hope to meet and prove my true worth today and in the future.
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