Clemency for Jermaine Brown serving 28 years
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Jermaine Brown is my husband and he is currently housed in a prison by the name of Dixon Correctional Center located in Dixon Illinois. He is serving a sentence of 25 years at 100% for a wrongful conviction of 1st degree murder. The actual nature of the case should have been self-defensedue to the nature of the situation. As of today he has been in prison for 14 years and continues to fight constantly for his freedom, even after being unsuccessful in the appeal process. Due to the support of family he remains strong minded, and grounded with love. He is not only just trying to get home to his family but his 14 year old daughter who is in the same situation he once was and that is growing up without both her parents seeing as how her mother has died, and then her grandmother passed as well. His biggest objection is to come home and be a father, a husband, and an advocate for "At Risk Youth".
This is what he wrote me to put in his petition. :
Please join in this effort and ask Our President to show me grace and mercy by commuting my sentence. I'm ready to prove to my family, myself and society that I deserve this opportunity.
Since being in prison I have had time to reflect and am aware of the many problems that many of us in urban communities face like the one I myself was raised in which had a negative influence on me as a child. I grew up with a mentally ill mother and never knew my father. Not to mention being surrounded by gangs, drugs, violence, etc that awaited outside my grandmother's front door. It eventually got the best of me and I became an at risk youth and stayed that way for years which in 2002 took me away from the life I once knew.
Since incarceration I have dug deep into studying self because only we hold the answers to who we are. This knowledge came from books, the type you have to look hard for. The truth is not always easy to obtain and when found the owners aren't usually willing to share them. Not because they don't want to share but because all minds can't handle or aren't mature enough to understand the contents. I was blessed enough to have come to prison with an outlook to get as much from this journey as I could, and I've stuck to that outlook. I am now blessed to say that I truly know who I am, where I've come from, why I've done this and that, and most importantly where I am headed. Prison can change a person if one is open to it and stare change in the eyes. I am not the 19 year old young man I was in 2002. However, I am aware that it isn't about talking, it's more about action and action is what I am now in the process of unfolding to the free world when I'm finally released. For years I have relied on ill equipped systems to fight for my freedom; over worked court appointed attorneys, fake jail-house lawyers, and out of date prison law books. All tools systematically designed to prevent people like me from obtaining freedom. Recently I realized that my fight for freedom shouldn't be fought from only the inside but the outside as well, which is precisely why I am reaching out to you through Change.org I am preparing what is called an Executive Clemency to the current Illinois Governor requesting a commutation of my sentence (an early release). However, such a task is not achievable without outside assistance. Therefore, I am asking for your signatures to be added to my petition. This petition with your signatures will be added to the filing of my clemency once completed, and will increase my chances of success that will ultimately result of returning home to my family as a new man with increased knowledge of the meaning of life and what life isn't about. My plans once free are endless but all are positive. One plan is more dear to me then others and that is to work with urban youth to introduce them to are, poetry, and music as tools for self-expression I'm aware (from self experience) that so many children go about life holding their true feelings in leaving them with no positive outlets of self-expression which often leads to negative, harmful, and violent behavior and results in over-crowded prisons, early pregnancies, S.T.D's, drugs, and separation of families. The fact remains that the youth that grow up in poverty and crime ridden communities are all "at risk youth". There was a time when the term "at risk youth" meant children with parent(s) in prison, on drugs, or absent, but now the term is defined more vastly. Bullets kill our youth, drugs kill our youth, the lack of education kill our youth, disease kill our youth and the list goes on. The fact remains is that our youth are at risk. Teaching them to express themselves gives them not only an outlet but a voice as well. A voice that matters and gives them a platform to deliver their message. Had I been in tune with a positive outlet over seen by those that cared if I made it or not I believe I would not be in prison. Things happen for a reason and I'm okay with that, my journey continues to take unexpected turns but now I realize that I have more control then I thought. With my fight for freedom now on the outside battlefield and with your signatures of support I have high hopes that some time sooner than later I will be spreading my wings when I'm free from this small cage from which I write. Thank you for taking the time to read this in it's entirety.
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