From 19 to 44, can we agree that justice has been served?

From 19 to 44, can we agree that justice has been served?

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Tracy Tisdol started this petition to Governor Phil Murphy

In July of 1995 at the impressionable age of 19, I was arrested for my participation in a crime that eventually took someone's life.

I, along with two of my friends decided to go out one night to look for something to get into. As the saying goes, “when you go looking for trouble, trouble will find you”. What neither of us anticipated or intended was the loss of life being the end result. It was never my nor my friends intention to end another persons life. In fact, ALL of the evidence and testimony throughout my case clearly speaks to an accidental homicide.


Nevertheless, I have never shied away from my responsibility and remorse for the crime that took place. As minimal as my role in it may have been, I was present. In April of 1997 I was then sentenced to 40 years to life of imprisonment for knowingly/purposeful murder, robbery, and felony murder. All on my very first conviction.


I would later come to learn that during this time the general consensus by lawmakers, law enforcement, and a good portion of our society viewed young,black men such as myself as ”super predators". I undoubtedly feel that had I been viewed, heard, and tried as the person that I was, I am confident that I would not have been sentenced to so much time on my very first conviction.

At the time of my arrest I was a father to a 10 month old son whom I spent time with daily and provided for. I held odd jobs and frequented bible study classes that my brother held at his home. I strived to be the best uncle to my niece and nephews, as family was a priority of mines. Factually speaking, I was simply a young man that was trying to figure life out. Before I was able to accomplish that, I made an immature and irresponsible choice that has caused me to spend the last 25 plus years of my life in prison.

I am now 44 years old. I have used my time to nurture my spirit and have since gained a healthier perspective towards life and others. I have utilized the necessary programs provided by the prison that would directly benefit my growth as a father, a man, and a member of society. Having participated in a college course whose aim was to end the school to prison pipeline has developed an insoluble need to not only further my education, but to also help others in ways that I am capable of.

 

I am forever grateful and in-debt to all of my family and friends held me up through the years. To all of those that have viewed me through the lens of humanity, and not the mistakes that I've made, your energy has been sustaining.. And to those that stand on the just side of justice, please hear me. I am not what my charges says that I am I have NEVER been a “super predator", not even a bad person. And it has never been in my makeup to physically harm anyone. On that night one of my friends went too far and we all have been paying the price for it. Although I fully accept the consequence of MY actions, I am not my codefendant and I therefore should not have been given the same time as him.

I respectfully ask that you please sign this petition as I plea to the governor of my state (NJ) to commute my sentence to one that fits the true nature of the crime that took place, and more specifically, to MY role in it.

Thank you..sincerely.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!