Clemency for our Father Michael Harris
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A little over 30-years ago, my father, Michael Ray Harris began serving what adds up to be a 40-year sentence. What does a small child do when their father is arrested? How can they make sense of it? Who will nurture you? Who will you talk to? Who will console you when problems arise beyond your control?
From the time I can remember he was my loving father, my best friend, my mentor. I cherished that close personal relationship until the day he went away and my world fell apart. After my father went away, I was raised by my father's mother, my Nana. My father stayed in my life as best he could, always making sure to call and encourage me to do well in school because as he always said, “A good education would take you far.” He has always supported my dreams and congratulated me on my accomplishments. As a result, I am currently working in the HR Department (my passion) for one of the top oil & gas companies in Houston, Texas. My father has been incarcerated for over 30 years, I am now 34 and my little sister is 23 years old. Our father did the same for her, as he did with me, mentoring and supporting her. We’re so proud that she recently graduated from college.
Two years ago I birthed a beautiful baby girl. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I began to experience what some labeled an unexplainable pain. I endured it throughout and after the pregnancy. My heart however my heart can explain it; it's the absence of my loving father. I can never hold back my tears when we go and visit him, knowing that we would be leaving without him.
My family cannot afford to lose any more years within the judicial system. It’s heartbreaking to know that men and women receive lesser sentences for rape and murder. My father received the conspiracy and drug trafficking sentence during the Presidency of Reagan and the War on Drugs, a contributing factor in my father spending more than half of his life incarcerated. BUT, the saving grace of it all is that he has completely changed his way of thinking and contributed to the community there, creating programming and teaching. While serving time in San Quentin State Prison, he revamped the prison’s monthly circular newspaper, The San Quentin News”, and became its editor. He also devoted his time and effort as a life coach and mentor to young men, instilling in them the importance of changing their lives now, hoping to deter them from heading down the same path he did at their age.
President Trump can free my father by commuting his sentence. I pray that his petition receives a favorable recommendation and ultimately is signed. It is my firm belief that a person, who becomes incarcerated and spends the time improving and mentors those who are younger, deserves a second chance. My father, his two daughters, and granddaughter both deserve a second chance. Our lives will never be complete until our father is free! Help us to bring him home...he’s changed and will be a GREAT asset to the community he returns to.
My sister, my daughter, Kayden, and I pray that you will support us in our effort to share this petition. We simply ask that sign my father’s petition and share the link on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and through email. We thank each and every one of you in advance and appreciate you so much for caring.
To learn more about Michael's case check out his CAN-DO Profile page.
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