Being released from prison due to the injustice of my sentencing and case.

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Latasha Peoples started this petition to Latasha Peoples

First and foremost I begin my words to you by acknowledging that all the praise is to God alone.

My name is Anthony Peoples. I am a 54-year old father of two sons, ages 37 and 27. And I am also a proud grandfather of nine beautiful and well-adjusted grandchildren. I have been incarcerated for the past 23-years. And I am presently seeking to have the sentence imposed on me vacated on the basis of it's illegality, in hopes of salvaging however many years God permits me to spend with my offspring and elderly mother.

You know, a lot of people in this sort of situation are unable to deal with the reality of being behind these walls. Many of them just give in to hopelessness, and willingly submit themselves to their present reality. They basically accept their current state of life, (if this can be considered a life), of being in here. But I have never thought in this sense. And the number one reason why? Because of my faith in God. He is Just and Fair. I also have a wonderful mother and a host of loving and supporting family members. Which I am truly thankful to God for allowing them all to still be here advocating for me through this ordeal. Yes, there are various reasons why people in this sort of situation just give up. but honestly, none of those reasons I find to affect me. And again, thank God!

To give you some brief history; I was convicted in July of 1998 of fist-degree robbery, murder, felony murder, and other related offenses. I was sentenced to an aggregate term of life imprisonment with 45-years of parole ineligibility.

In my Direct Appeal opinion dated: April 11, 2000. The Appellate Court acknowledged that an lesser included homicide offense of aggravated manslaughter was warranted. Stating: "Accordingly, we review the matter as plain error. R. 2:10-2 (error capable of producing an unjust result." They went on to say: "In this case the facts did "clearly indicate" the appropriateness of a manslaughter charge." This is due to the fact that I was charged as an accomplice of the person who actually caused the murder. But because he took a deal he received a much lesser sentence, 20 years. And he is presently free! However the court held that reversal was not warranted because of my defense counsel's failure to request a lesser included manslaughter instruction was based upon an evident strategic decision of an "all or nothing" approach.

The facts were clear that I should have been charged with the lesser included offense of manslaughter. The judge sentenced me to Life! 45-years to serve until I am eligible for parole. Which will be in 2040.

I do with all honesty admit to you that I have made some very bad decisions with the management of my life. And I blame no one but myself. I do not blame my mother nor my father. And I definitely can not find fault with my upbringing neither. Cause I was afforded with many opportunities to have a fairly decent life. I've served in the military and received an honorable discharge for my years of service. I obtained my CDL license and worked as a truck driver. I have also worked at various convalescent centers caring for the elderly. Which was one of the best jobs that I've ever had. It was truly rewarding. Just to name a few job titles that I've had. But I chose to indulge in things that really were of no benefit to me. I made bad choices in choosing friends. And this is the sad result of it. My selfishness has affected many people, particularly my sons. They have been raised without me being present to guide them as a father should guide his children. My oldest remains very bitter about me not being there for him when he needed me the most. And his feelings about it have validity. My youngest got himself into a situation similar to mines when he was 14. But thank God he is presently doing well for himself and his family. So you see, this ordeal has affects on the family also. I hurt because of it. But it hurts those who love me the most. My mother is getting older, and I need to be out there for her also. I fear losing her while I am still in here. God willing, I don't want my last memory of my mother to be like that! I have already experienced that with the passing of my father. And I really don't want to go through that again. I know that death is inevitable for all of God's creatures. But to experience it while being in here is an entirely different emotion.

I'm just in dire need for someone to take a closer look at my situation. I truly don't believe that I deserved this lengthy sentence that was unjustly given to me because I went to trial and the actual perpetrator who caused the murder took a deal! THE TIME DOESN'T FIT THE CRIME!

I thank you all for listening to what I had to say. God willing you will have it in your hearts to help me. Again, thanks for listening.

Anthony Peoples

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