Help Shane Johnson get a second chance at being a son, father, brother, and a GREAT LEADER
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My name is Shane Johnson. I am a First Time Crime of Violent Offender serving 40 years on a Manslaughter Charge of which I've already served 20 years thus far. If I could have a moment of your time, I would like to share my thoughts and feelings with hope that they may allow you to see the man I've become and not the loss insane boy I once was.
Let me share with you a little bit about my living arrangements. While living in a single parent home in the projects in New Orleans La., I can remember as far back as the age of 4 years old. I had to live with my Grandmother who still lived in the projects but in a different section. At the time my Mom was addicted to Heroin and my Dad was in the Military and he was an Alcoholic. I lived with my Grandmother up until the age of 8 years old. My Mom had moved into the same projects as my Grandmother so I then went to live with my Mom. At the age of 9 years old, I began to have Behavioral problems in school that lead to the school officials contacting my Mom to inform her of the many testing and observation they had conducted at school and also informed her that it wasn't my learning abilities that were causing the problems it was my behavior. The school officials recommended that i be evaluated by a Professional Doctor or a Psychiatrist . My Mom then took me to a clinic in New Orleans affiliated with the New Orleans Adolescence Hospital (NOAH). Only to find out that I was having Severe Behavioral Disorders. I was diagnosis with ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Major Depression Disorder. At the age of 10 years old I was admitted to the Children Adolescence Hospital (NOAH), where I spent 2 years of my childhood life. After being discharged from the hospital at the age of 12 years old I had to live with my Grandmother again because my Mom was back in the streets. At this time my Dad began his parenting. He would come to my Grandmother house on the days we didn't have school, he'd take me with him to whatever Army Base that he were living at the time. I continue to excel in my education inspite of everything that was going on around me and in my life. After all I've been through, all I've seen, all I've been a part of, all I can say is Thank You God because I've never been arrested nor have I ever gone to jail and yet somehow I still manage to Graduate from High School and begin to pursue on to a higher level of education at Southern University in Baton Rouge La.
At the age 17 years old, I then move to Baton Rouge La. Life was grand for me at that time. I was in college, had a job, and I had met a lady that became my girlfriend and everything was good for me so I had thought. After losing my job because of my immaturity acts I then turn back to a life that I was once taught at an early age and that I thought I knew which to my surprise became my demise. I began hanging out with the wrong people, doing the wrong things, and taking wrong advice from people that I thought at that time had my best interest at heart. My girlfriend then became pregnant and after that one thing lead to another and from then on 20 years later still behind bars here I am having to tell my story in hope that it would gain me my freedom.
At the sentencing hearing the Judge began reading the articles that related to the charge I'm facing and stated to me that she was taking into consideration of my age. She then stated that I was 25 years old at the time of the incident . That was incorrect. My birth date is January 28, 1978. I was 20 years old at the time of the incident and 22 years old at the time of my sentencing hearing. If the Judge had gathered all the facts of my true identity and my medical history my sentencing would have been tremendously different. My sentencing would not have been as harsh as it was by a fully informed Judge. She would have had stating facts of my true identity and my medical history and I know without the shadow of doubt that would have resulted in a lesser sentence than 40 years at hard labor .
While taking full responsibility for my action in this criminality that has resulted in me being incarcerated I would like to extend my sincere apology to a family that I have truly hurt. I am so sorry for the pain, hurt, and suffering I've cause this family and their community. I to carry the burdens of shame, hurt, and pain that I've cause my family as well because of my immaturity . I wish I wish I wish I could erase my signature from the pain I've cause but I can not. I must prepare myself to try and answer any questions on the face of that family . I've prayed to God that one day this family will find in their hearts to forgive me for the loss and hurt I've cause them. I must sit right my actions and be the leader I've become to to a community in need.
When I began to search for reasons and change I once again found within myself and realize the loss I've cause to a community that is now in need of a great leader. I have to take actions and accountability for my wrong. I must step into the void I've created. I've become that son, that father, that brother, and that example to follow. But now I need to atone for the damage I've cause and for what I've taken away from the community.
These are the reasons why it is very important to me to continue rehabilitating myself. Many years ago I started to rehabilitate and refine myself. I began to tend to my garden (mind). My motivation was to become a man and a father to my daughter of whom was not born yet deserve when my life made a drastic turn for the worse. This is why it was essential that I understand what lead me to this point in my life and know that I could be of great use to a community.
The seeds that I've planted are wisdom, understanding, thirst for knowledge , and insight. As years passed on I have tended to my garden watering and fertilizing it through education, introspection, coping skills, and conveying conversations with other offenders of different backgrounds and cultures gaining knowledge and experience .
As these things nurtured the seeds my garden began to produce. I began putting into practice the things that I have learned. Though it hasn't been easy the struggle has been positive and life giving. I continue to move forward. But none of this would be possible if I had not found God through my incarceration. God has been the Captain of this ship. Although when I was running the streets i knew nothing about God. Now that my maturity level has elevated, I now know that I'm NOTHING without Him. He is the sustainer of my Faith. God has kept me planted and rooted in Him. God has let me know on many occasions that if it had not been for Him reaching way down picking me up and saving me, changing me , reviving me, and reforming me that I was headed for destruction right here while in prison.
I have had several reasons for planting and with each harvest the fruit has been sweeter and bountiful. With a new understanding on life I started to put together a picture like puzzle and with each new piece things became clearer and clearer. This process has help me to develop a sense of manhood and what my responsibilities are to my Fiancee, Daughters, Sons, Grandson, Siblings, Nieces, Nephew, and the community all from whom I have support .
Through my incarceration I've accomplished many goals and opportunities that I could use once I'm released from prison. I've participated in many different programs offered at the institution where as I was either the Founder of or the President of. Men of Change Spiritual Crisis Course, Men of Change Inner Crisis Course, Men of Change Transactional Analysis, Civic Leader Association Manhood Training of Leadership Skills Living the Christian Life, Recognition for Facilitating A Program of A High Level of Thinking, Completion of A Financial Litering Class, Cage Your Rage Anger Management Group, Living And Balance Moving From A Life of Addiction To A Life of Recovery PI, Surviving Spiritual Culture Crisis Workshop, Advanced of His Hand Work and Dedication The Jaycees Acknowledge for Membership, Completed Relationship Course, Making Peace With Past Full Gospel Fellowship, Active Participation Personal Growth Program, Awarded Recognition for Completing the Alumini Personal Growth Training, A Faith-based Certification, The Discipleship Class Master Life LiferAssociation Certification of Appreciation for Dedication Assistance and Membership in the Catholic Men's Fellowship, President of The (CLA) Jaycees Civic Leader Association, Founder of the (CLA) CIVIC Leadership Association.
In closing I would like to once again convey my deepest sympathy letting the family know how sorry I am for the hurt and pain I've cause. Through my growing process I've come to realize that no family should have to go through and experience the pain and suffering from an immature act. I would like to also thank you all for your time and consideration and ask for your signature in hope that I may be given the opportunity at freedom to join my family and contribute to society.
Sincerely, Shane Johnson
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