Clemency for Emmanuel “Manny” Mendoza
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I am launching this petition for my husband in great hopes that he may re-enter court and be charged correctly. For Manny being present at the time of the crime, not being found the said shooter or any evidence showing that he caused harm to the victim, I feel Mannys 8th Amendment is being violated. Per the 8th Amendment which states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” The punishment must fit the crime.
I am asking Governor Jerry Brown to commute my husbands sentence and to have Life without the Possibility of Parole removed from his name. I am asking that Emmanuel “Manny” be able to go before the Parol Board Hearings in which he can prove that he has positively been rehabilitated. A second chance is all he needs. Please help me make this happen. I graciously thank you for your time.
Dear The Honorable Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.,
My name is Emmanuel Matthew Mendoza. I have been incarcerated since I was 19 years old, I am now a twenty seven year old man, currently incarcerated under the Felony Murder Rule. I am doing a sentence of L-WOP (life without the possibility of parole). Without getting too much into my case, I was convicted of a robbery gone wrong, in which the victim was shot in the process and died which, I am extremely remorseful for. I was not implicated as the shooter, nor, do they have the alleged shooter in custody. However, under the Felony Murder Rule, they did not have to prove I killed anyone, just that I was present during the crime. 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 anybody 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. Now, I am also not sitting here claiming to be some kind of saint, I have made my share of mistakes, but not any that would warrant me to spend the rest of my life in a prison cell. As a juvenile I ran with the wrong crowds, got into my share of fist 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, but at the time this crime took place, I was coming out of my childish ways. I was nineteen at the time, 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 was pursuing my passion in music as a rap artist. It is still something I do till this day, only the message has changed. Now I attempt to use my life experiences in my lyrics. I express how important education is no matter where you are growing up, I express many positive messages in my music in hopes that I can reach troubled youth and help guide them in a positive direction threw my testimony. I have also held employment since the age of fourteen. I’ve had a paper route, and worked at restraunts such as Golden Corral and Hometown Buffet. I helped my mother at home being I was the only male in the house. I have lost so much time with my kids that I cannot get back. 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. I want to stop this cycle of incarceration from parent to child.
During my time in prison, I have been trying to better myself and do good. I am currently obtaining my G.E.D. Once I complete this, I will be enrolling in college courses or vocational classes in welding. I am also signed up in the following programs; alternative to violence, alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, and lifers group. I have received milestones for high test scores in school. 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 children’s lives and assure them that they can be anything they want to be with hard work. I want to stop this cycle of kids coming to prison. It is my hope to reach as many youth as possible. I would like to help other troubled youth and share my experience with them in hopes it will help them to be positive role models to their peers and not get caught up with the wrong crowds. I often wonder if I had someone with similar circumstances as me talk to me as a youth, if 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 currently started a non profit organization to provide children with incarcerated parents with school supplies, birthday presents, and Christmas presents to show them they are not forgotten. I believe, if given a chance, I can do many positive things in the community and be a productive, successful law abiding citizen. I just need a second chance to show people that I am not the same kid I was, but I am a grown man ready to redeem himself and move forward with life. Although I am doing all it takes to become a better man, none of this takes away that fact that a life was taken, I relive that very moment everyday and wish I could have done more to stop this tragic event from taking place. Thank you for your time, I appreciate everyone who took the time to read this.
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