GRANT CLEMENCY to WILFREDO BARRIOS: SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE
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Wilfredo is speaking directly to you when he writes . . . .
My petition is intended to reach out to everyone who will read my plea and support me to receive SENTENCE COMMUTATION for a LIFE sentence. I am serving a LIFE sentence for a nonviolent drug crime conviction of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. My conviction for Conspiracy was vacated.
As I learn that many offenders serving long sentences for nonviolent drug offences are receiving Clemency, this positive executive action gives me great hope that one day, I also will receive a Presidential letter with the same good news. As my time passes, every day I offer a silent prayer to my Higher Power to help me understand why I have not yet received sentencing relief and give me strength to remain strong, inside and outward.
In so many ways, incarceration has made me realize how the little things in life are so important. Before this incarceration, “little things” like stopping at the convenience store to have doughnuts and coffee, taking my dog for a walk, driving my car to a movie with my wife and more importantly, hugging my wife and loving children I under-appreciated. Today, I sincerely appreciate and miss those "little things in life" and many, many others.
I have no justification for what I did; I know I hurt many people by my drug dealings and, closer to home, in my own family. Sixteen years of my LIFE sentence have already gone by which has given me much time for reflection and remembering how beautiful FREEDOM is. I lost all of that because of my faulty thinking and selfishness. I ask my Higher Power for forgiveness and I also ask my family.
Today I am a totally different person, completely renewed and changed! My past is not defining or deciding my future. Every day I am actively improving and working to be a better version of myself and to give back to my immediate community and my family the good that they all deserve.
For many years, I have involved myself in many positive activities and efforts to compensate while in prison, but importantly, I cultivated and developed my love of Art for my own pleasure and enjoyment and for the betterment of my prison environment. I have taken on a personal challenge to overcome incarceration by changing a negative into a positive, by demonstrating within prison that I deserve a second chance and that I am and will continue to move forward on an “accomplishment” trajectory. This positive, upward movement of my life and my objectives for the rest of my life will continue once my sentence is commuted because I can use my artistic skills in so many ways once I am released from prison. And I can also give back to my community by using my skills, which are a gift from God.
Using my canvas, when I paint, it truly takes me to another, different world that I create on canvas, and my efforts take my imagination to the great future of my life, outside the fence lines that bind me. I am able to surrender to the canvas by expressing my thoughts and interests with paint. I have also turned my God-given artistic skills into an opportunity to teach, develop and share by helping others receive the same peace and satisfaction I have when I paint. I am continuing to decorate the prison environment with colorful and cheerful scenes and designs so that the normally drab walls will offer artistically pleasing views. My love of painting has been infectious and many more inmates are learning from me and participating in this valuable personal development skill and improving themselves as I instruct. My ultimate desire, one day, is to paint the images of my wife, my mother and father and my children, with myself, at home together, and enjoying “the little things in life”. Until that day I will remain strong for my loving family and believe there is a reason for everything, even my continued incarceration.
Please sign Wilfredo’s petition for Clemency support and see more of his art here at this link: http://bit.ly/2drfQON
Please visit CAN-DO CLEMENCY to read more about Wilfredo's life: http://bit.ly/2eltYzs
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