Personal Commutation Request for Kenneth L. Moore to Governor Brown
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In September 1978, an Alameda County grand jury indicted myself and two co-defendants for, among others, felony murder (with special circumstance) in connection with (what they labeled as a crime spree) which sadly, ended in the loss of precious life. Although originally charged as a principle (one of two shooters) during the course of a robbery gone bad, the jury, after the state passionately argued and instructed them on the Natural and Probable Consequences Doctrine (NPCD) sternly rejected the grand juries and prosecutors narrative, as well as key portions of the states evidence relating to the capital offense, by striking the personal use of a handgun (murder weapon) from their verdict forms -- implying I was, if any, an unarmed accomplice.
The same jury, during the penalty phase, refused to impose a sentence of death nor life without parole in furtherance of their belief that my actions (based on the evidence before them) was minimal, and not warranting the severity or harshness of either available sentences under state law. (See the trial record in People v. Kenneth Moore, 67113B.) That position was taken by jurors whom, after weighing the same physical evidence and listening to endless witness testimonies, sentenced my co-defendant (brother) to death. Needless to say, because of the laws strict prescription, at that time, the trial judge dismissed the jury and sentenced me to life without parole.
Even though I've maintained my innocence throughout, the man I've become, in the interim, in a most difficult and time-consuming process, discovered within myself, an "nth amount" of what victims/survivors (and their families) of those 1978 criminal acts must have felt and/or continue to feel; paradoxically, only when I dared to venture in, sift through the hurt and pains of all such victims (though honestly not of my making), I began to see, understand and cultivate an ability to unlock the doors to my own damaged/broken inner being.
Seriously no less than countless others who have petitioned for commutation under the umbrella of redemption, I, too, have completed various academic and self-help courses while incarcerated -- that list is as follows:
- Facilitated an LWOP Group
- Created Insight Circle, based on Houses of Healing
- Anger Management
- Completed a Legal Course
- Victims Awareness
- Conflict Resolution
- Served as: Lead Cook, Admins. Clerk & M.A.C. Chairman to name a few
However, long before achieving any of those endeavors, I overcame my own learning disability, then began to teach others to read and write; if I had to choose, that would certainly be among my most rewarding accomplishments. I've also, over the many years, closely studied the Prophets -- Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Krishna -- from which I am thoroughly in acceptance that redemption should never be weighed solely on what one reads, studied, or accomplishes, but rather, on who you've become. Because, the hallmarks/tenants of redemption is: to atone, to make good, recover or repay, etc.
And, at age nineteen (19), I certainly was no the best version of me that I could be, but, I was not then -- nor have I ever been -- a murderer! Nevertheless, fate dealt me a set of circumstances and from a long toil inside the most openly hostile environments, I found layers beneath of the rubble of "WHO I THOUGHT I WAS" - the man that God created me to be from conception. Thus, my redemption is based in verifiable facts (as long and difficult as this journey has been), justifying the instant request for commutation. The being I am today is a proud, yet humble husband, son, sibling, step-father, uncle to a host of nieces and nephews as well as Grandfather to an inspired next generation; for them, as well as me, I sincerely seek your commutation from this LWOP sentence.
Kenneth L. Moore
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