Reduction Of a Sentence for my son Marco A Canchola

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Hello People of California,

Thank you in advance for taking time and reading my petition. I appreciate your time. 

My name is Marco Antonio Canchola and I am a young man of 23.  I have been incarcerated since 08/14/2011 for a stupid choice I made as an adolescent. I made a horrible decision that changed my life and others that I can honestly say I deeply regret.  As a result, I accepted a plea bargain for 16 years due to an assault with a deadly weapon (p.c 245 (b)) and use of a firearm (p.c. 12055.5). Even though I was a juvenile when arrested I was never granted a "juvenile fitness hearing and instead I was immediately sent to adult court.  Thus, I was tried as an adult at an early age which opened the door to a longer prison sentence. There are no words or action that can undo what I’ve done.  I understand the severity of the crime and take full responsibility.  On the night of the crime I was a lost, selfish and immature child. For many years before the night of the incident, I had a pattern of running away from reality and myself. I hid behind drugs, alcohol and neighborhood gangs to satisfy a purpose and identity that I struggled finding throughout my life.  The need to feel accepted by my peers caused me to get lost in the wrong crowd and I adopted to a destructive belief system. I made poor decisions behind low self-esteem and just stupidity. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I came to grips with how absurd and selfish I was behaving.  During the early years of my incarceration, I believed that my life was over, and it was true.  I say this because the old destructive life-style I once lived had come to an end, but thankfully a new beginning emerged.  I had an opportunity to change. I began to develop empathy and commenced digesting the pain, sorrow, and remorse behind the crime I committed, and the destructive behavior that was affecting those around me.  I began to feel remorse.  Being remorseful compelled me to reflect on myself and belief in the system.  I immediately knew I was broken inside.  It was in those early years of my incarceration that showed me the power of change and self-will.  I had two options at this point; to continue to feel sorry for myself and throw myself in the jail gang life or denounce it all and change! I made a conscious decision change by investing in my strength, energy, and will to change into a more compassionate and sincere human being.  Since then, I’ve disassociated myself with gangs and stopped using drugs and alcohol.  I began to take the first step into the path of recovery.  I am no longer the same lost boy I was on 08/14/2011.  I am sober, I am understanding, compassionate, and rehabilitated.  I’ve invested a substantial amount of time in work and group therapy to be where I am today.  These are not just words on this paper as I also have proof.  I received my GED (2013), Information Technology Literacy (2015),  two associate of art degrees one in social behavioral science (2017) and the second in arts & humanities (2017). I became an Alcohol and drug specialist in (2018), and accomplished two tracks of an intensive computer coding program with a great institution called The Last Mile (2016-2018).  Accomplishing these educational achievements gave me awareness of my potential.  I want my life back so that I can pursue higher education at a University and graduate with a four-year degree and if GOD is willing keep going to finally obtaining a Masters in Psychology.  I want to help lost children and direct them to a better more meaningful life. I want to be the difference that I never had. I want to be home again with my family and show them the man I am today.  I want to make them proud of me. I am fortunate to have a strong and stable support system, and I know I will be a productive member of society.  I plea to you today, help me achieve change and regain a second opportunity to living a productive life. Please sign this petition so I can present it to Governor Brown for commutation (reduction) of sentence.  I vow to help bring change to our communities. I will not take anything for granted and I will work hard to make you proud of your signature on this petition. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Marco A Canchola CDC #AN5085



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