“The Life of Being a LWOP On a Journey Trying To Regain My Redemption From My Past Transgressions While In Prison”
Hi my name is Carlos and like many LWOPs, I am another “Youth Offender” that unfortunately has made bad decisions that put me at the mercy of California broken system.
In 2005, when I was 19 years of age I was arrested and charged with Murder, Robbery, I was convicted in 2006 of all charges when I was 21 years of age. The Prosecution used the Felony-Murder Rule (FMR) which lessoned the Prosecutor’s burden of proving every element of the crime and made it easier to secure my conviction. The FMR only requires proof of an intent to commit the underlying felony, (Robbery) to receive a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
So through my communication I hope and pray that, when you hear my story and others who are LWOPs, please let it encourage Friends, Families, Churches, Grassroots Organizations, and Legislatures to adopt and/or support me and all LWOPs in our cause for Redemption.
Born and raised in a broken home in Oakland, Ca. by my Mother, a single parent trying the best she could to raise three (3) kids on her own. I never really knew my Father because he drowned and died when I was only 3 years of age, (sighs). As I got older, I felt that growing up fast could help my Mother and myself.
The loss of my Father created the very first stages of me seeking approval where my Father’s knowledge, wisdom, and guidance was very much needed. By not having a father, I sought a father figure in all the wrong places, and in people that never had my best interest in their hearts. Being misled by strangers in the street (drug dealers) and even some people in my family, I was misled to their own drug addiction and alcohol. So when I was 12 years old I began to emulate the drug dealers that I saw and looked up to in the streets, being around this abnormal repetitive environment throughout my entire young life growing up, the “abnormal” became “normal” to me.
At 16 years old unfortunately I lost my Mother, and from this tragic loss of my Mother, the pain and grief I was feeling I had never experienced or felt in my entire life, and not wanting to ever feel this kind of pain again, I turned off my “humanity”, and it turned me into a different person that I couldn’t even recognize. Too far gone, and out of control, was the cause of me losing control.
For almost l2 years now I haveve been incarcerated in State Prison, surviving life without the possibility of parole, plus, 25 years to life for a gun enhancement. Bound by concrete walls, shackled and chained to the restraints that bind my flesh.
I have finally, through my journey of almost 12 years, matured mentally, spiritually, and physically. As of 2016, I have been constantly working on improving myself through active participation in A.A., a Socialization Group, earned my G.E.D., and through the Mental Health Lifer Group I have gained new insight in myself and Life too! For instance, through my Socialization Self Help Group, I am now able to identify my “anti-social” behaviors, and it gave me the tools I need to continue working every day for a better me and practice good “Social Skills” that I’ll need in society to live a more productive life! God Bless.