Freedom For Frankie
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I’ve been with my husband, Frankie, prior to his arrest and throughout his thirteen years of incarceration. He is currently serving an L.W.O.P. (Life Without the Possibility of Parole) sentence. An L.W.O.P. sentence is the unspoken DEATH PENALTY sentence. Making one bad decision could lead to Death by Imprisonment. One bad decision is so easy to do when you’re very young, immature and unaware of the severity of the consequences of your actions. With that being said, “most Experts suggest that the brain is fully developed by age 25” (Mental Healthy Daily). Frankie was 18 years and 2 months when the crime took place. He is now 31 but his Sentence means HE WILL DIE IN PRISON.
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least, however, as time moves along and the years go by I see Frankie progressing in life. He is making better, smarter, healthier (mentally, spiritually, and physically) decisions. He has persevered even when all odds have been against him. As you will read in his petition, he has managed to obtain his G.E.D. and Self-Help Program Certificates with more to pursue in the near future along with furthering his education. He has come a long way from the 18-year-old kid to now a 31-year-old man. I see inside him, how one can redeem ones self and put effort into wanting to strive for bettering their lives, not only for a second chance into society but to have peace within.
Frankie has an unlimited amount of resources available to him to further better his life outside of prison. There is much hope for people like him along with a community that embraces him. He will have a job he can come home to, working with the community. Frankie has a family that is ready to accept him back into our lives to support him and keep him on the right path and more importantly he will be released into a healthy and productive environment.
I signed this petition because he’s my husband, I BELIEVE IN HIM, and more so, because I know if given a second chance, Frankie would be a productive member of society by being a powerful asset to his community, such as derailing the youth headed down the same path he was once on. He is the most credible source for troubled youth because he’s lived that life. He knows the consequences and knows best how to keep young people from making the same decisions. With him as a mentor, he can assist them in making smarter decisions with education, career, and family. Please help us to bring HOPE to this hopeless and horrendous sentence by signing this petition to give Frankie a “SECOND CHANCE” of one day seeing PBH (Parole Board Hearing). Sincerely, Yolanda Ledesma
In March 2005, I, Frankie Leonard Ledesma Jr, two months after turning eighteen was arrested, held, and later found guilty for the death of a young kid my age, taking full responsibility for my actions and the part I had, has me heavy hearted with remorse that I will carry for the remainder of my existence. Sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole, filled a fate to eventually die in prison. I had to realize what could and could not be changed, as amends had to be made. As no matter the consequences or circumstances nothing would bring back a life but I'm focused on showing that I understand how precious every life is and how no one has the right to prevent anyone from living.
Since then I have been productive while remaining positive as I partake in available endeavors. Doing so to obtain insight to develop a positive mindset as well as acquire the certificates. Showing that I can still achieve and accomplish goals, I have completed Victim Awareness, Anger Management, Parenting, Interfaith Leadership, Conflict Resolution, and Art of Communication. Amongst the completed courses I can proudly say that I aided in establishing the first ILTAG (Inmate Leisure Time Activity Group) Group at Pelican Bay State Prison, P.E.A.C.E.(Prisoner Embracing Anti-Hostility Cultural Evolution) Group or better known as "Center for Council". This group brings healing as we realize the humanity that exists in all of us; this healing has been experienced in Prison as well as in the cruelest places on Earth. I've become a facilitator for this group and continue to keep this program available, especially where it is not. I also enjoy Board recognized correspondence courses such as CRIMION (Way to Happiness), PREP (Gang Prevention), and a few Buddhist based ones as well, doing this while cutting hair and maintaining "exceptional" work performances as a kitchen worker.
While doing the above, I have matured; making needed improvements that could be expected with maturity as well as making those a personal choice, change for betterment and a desire to evolve into a righteous being. I had to address and identify the actions that landed me in prison to begin with. It was clear that my upbringing in gangs was the root of the inevitable suffering of myself and of others. I easily accepted that needed to change, finding my true self became an embraced mission along with education; educationally I obtained my G.E.D. with College in my near future.
With navigating in an unpredictable environment I have maintained balance with a positive outlook on life beyond incarceration, thanks to a strong, yet a small circle of dedicated supporters. My groundedness and true sense of purpose were acquired because I experienced that I can still be of a positive influence to life outside. This has allowed me to avoid the hatred and delusion one can imagine prison to breed. I have evolved from and through much in life, I've married my childhood friend whose allowed me to dream of a family of our own and a life beyond these walls. With reading this, I want you to understand I have matured and can call myself a man. I assure you I will continue a wholesome lifestyle as a husband to be a part and provide for a family with my loving wife. I will forever and a day live a life free from the suffering of myself or to others with a lot to still experience. Growth will be embraced at every opportunity and should the opportunity come, I will be proud and honored to show the Governor and Parole Board the human being I am today. They may be able to set me free physically, but I believe true freedom is through wholehearted redemption through a lifelong pursuit to make amends of positive and a productive change both small and big and within and afar.
In closing, I am Frankie, a husband, a growing human being, who is someone that has made mistakes in the past. I continue to accept responsibility with remorse throughout the present with nothing more than a hope to meet and prove his true worth today and in the future. Thank you for listening as all I seek is the chance to be free, as a husband, as a man, as Frankie. I hope that you allow me to prove worthy of your support.
With all positivity and productivity
Frankie Leonard Ledesma Jr.
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