Duane Angelo Gittens

Photo of Duane Angelo Gittens and friend

Duane

Hello, my name is Duane Angelo Gittens, #K22294 and the nature of my life crime, was a Horrific (matricide) for which I was reluctantly a part of in 1994. I was abused as a young child and as an adult teen; in a state of desperation, I vented to a best friend who was nineteen or twenty in 1994, as I was. He did not take my frantic ranting to him serious, but unbeknownst to me, he had company in an adjacent room who overheard my yelling and took my rants to heart. My distresses about being abused, hurt, and neglected for years fell on dangerous ears. And that is when my nightmare began.

I was brought-up in an upper-middle class home. I was a Cerritos Athletic over-achiever with high hopes and dreams of being in the NFL. From the age of 15-years-old to 19, 20-years old, I held down a part-time job while in high school, as well as in college, while playing football. I was raised by a hard-pressed, firm disciplinarian, single-parent mother whose love I deemed abusive in my teens. For a short period of time during my pre-teens, I was molested by her, which I never shared with anyone until I came to prison. I first shared this with my fiance, the love of my life.

While I’ve been in prison, I’ve written over thirteen unpublished books. I completed two Anger Management courses; I am a spearhead for the Nation of Islam and formed student minister, and helper of Muhammad, the righteous people, and have become a 5%. I am also a well-studied, secured party creditor for the past ten years, registered with the Secretary of State.

Delano III-prison has picked my brainchild-baby of a reform class, called F.I.R.M. Resolutions (which stand for Firm – Intelligent – Responsible – Models; also known as Significant Challenges) created by a fellow LWOP named Rudy Murphy at Delano State Prison, who is now with us at Solano. I am currently striving to get this approved at CSP-Solano.

I know that, no matter the circumstances in life, they cannot define or defy who you really are. My testimony in life is to let all who hear me, understand the struggle is real. Struggle is ordained; we all, all of us are equipped by the Most High to overcome any and all mistakes, bad choices, circumstances, people, places, things, environments… for a positive, pro-active, social lesson in one another’s life in society.

Everyone’s contribution counts for a child, good, bad, and ugly. My presence, back in free society, will only project positive, reform insight and strength of a Man whose been to the darkest places in self and prison-of-self and society, yet has emerged to see and be part of the light.

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Haiji Whitsey

Haiji Whitsey

Haiji Whitsey

Hello, my name is Haiji Whitsey and I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to read my profile. In 1992, I was convicted of murder, robbery and

burglary. I received a sentence of Life without the Possibility of Parole, plus 6 years. Every day that I have been incarcerated I have shed a tear. Not for me, but for my victim, his family, my family and everyone that was and still affected by my uncaring and selfish act(s).

Before my incarceration my upbringing was typical, a one parent household. My mom had 7 kids total and we all lived in the same house/apartment. We were on welfare and lived in a gang-infested area. All of us went to school, every one of us got locked up as juveniles and only 1 or two of us got our high school diplomas.

My accomplishments while in prison have not been many but they were worthwhile. I have earned my G.E.D., I have an extensive amount of alcohol anonymous milestones, Alternative to Violence programs and Victim Awareness Programs.

What I may bring to society if given a second chance is hope, prayer, guidance, love and understanding. The meaning of being a citizen in society. To my understanding, everything you do in life has a ripple affect; make yours of positive attributes.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Whitsey H-44663
CSP Solano 22-21-5L
PO BOX 4000
Vacaville CA 95696

Billy Davis’ Bio

Billy Davis and his Mother (2018)

Billy Davis and his Mother (April 2018)

Billy with his friend, around age 15.

This bio for Billy Davis was written in collaboration with his mother (Janet Davis). you see, Billy is developmentally disabled and visually disabled because of pre-mature birth, with a cyst in his brain that was not identified until the age of ten. Nevertheless, as an adolescent/teen, Billy became as sociable as his condition would allow, including fulfilling a romantic interest with the love of his life.

Billy also made friends with ease, especially male figures in, or above, his age group, which, in his naïve heart and mind, was a marvelous thing, however, that innocent interacting with others would prove fatal because – due to his under-developed brain – he was subject to manipulation by those who held little or no regard for his safety or well-being. To  everyone’s dismay, at age 19, Billy was implemented in a crime, along with others, (found guilty) and sentenced (under the Felony Murder Rule) to Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP).

Billy as a young man in prison.

Billy as a young man in prison.

In the year 2000, while housed at CSP-Calipatria, Billy was stabbed several times and also received massive blows to his head causing the Cyst to rupture, caused cerebral spinal fluid buildup in his brain
triggering displacement of the brain stem, spinal damage and an enlarged cyst. After several surgeries and time spent in Segregated Housing Unit(s), Billy is now housed at CHCF, where he receives the much-needed medical/mental healthcare.

From his hand, he shares these words:

“I have been in jail/prison longer than I haven’t! Because of my medical condition, from birth, I wasn’t able to put my own thoughts together. So, I just took comfort in doing what I was told. While I still need to be told what to do, more and more, I’ve been realizing that I can make thoughts myself. While I’ve been in prison a long time, the CCCMS, DDP, CHURCH and GROUPS have helped me, and when I get out, I’d like to keep being able to learn from them. I’m also wanting to help change the way people think about each other, they should want to do all they can for each other. As for me, though, in its own way, my medical condition had positive aspects too. Unfortunately, I just don’t/can’t think of what is going to happen next. What I do know, though, is that if I don’t help everybody else, how can I ask for forgiveness myself!”

Through Billy’s many medical battles and misfortunes with the justice system, his family, mother, grandfather and sister have been there every step of the way; hoping, praying for a humane resolution of Billy’s cause.

In 2017, his family petitioned the Governor’s Office for a compassionate release, however, the family still waits for a response. Long before the judicial and prison systems misfortunes, Billy was born six (6) weeks prematurely, triggering hospitalization, surgeries resulting his arrested development in all areas of growth; he did not walk, or talk, until age two (2). Sadly, Billy’s trial attorney failed to present any of his developmental / visual disabilities during the course of trial.

Regardless, sentencing anyone in Billy’s condition to LWOP, and forcing them to serve out such is most cruel and inhumane. And, I am hopeful that we (citizens of California) can work together, and through legislation, to amend existing laws, or, create new ones that take into consideration the under-developed mental status of those LWOP’s who were above age nineteen (19) at the time of the offense and reconsideration for those offenders who have since fallen mentally/physically ill, and would be better off at home or a non-prison setting. So, let us be brave and work in a united effort for all those (like Billy and the taxpayers who pay for their long-term incarceration) who deserve better.

Billy Davis and his mother (June, 2018)

Billy Davis and his mother (June, 2018)

Robert Henry

Congratulations my fellow prisoners who maintained the struggle and faith in the fight to get parole consideration for many prisoners serving Life Without Possible of Parole (LWOP).

“Your voices,” by way of application for commutation of your sentences, petitions to the courts and 602’s (appeals) have resonated with the courts, California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and most importantly the Governor of California, Jerry Brown and his staff.

On May 17, 2018, myself and several of my friends and associates have received commutation hearings from the Governor’s staff for the prospects of getting our sentences reduced for demonstrating good conduct, redemption and unusual sentences based on lack of participation in the crime.

They (Governor’s staff) are considering all of the issues “we” have been arguing for the last five years or so that no one should be given LWOP as a first termer, aider and abettor or as a youth offender under current law.
The Governor, the courts and CDCR would not have known our cry for justice and equality without us voicing our opposition through politically motivated legislation.

My thanks go out to the Lifers with Optimistic Progress (LWOP) its facilitators, coordinators and members at CHCF and CSP Solano for encouraging me to be optimistic, the Governor’s office and its staff for being objective, professional and courteous. In addition, to the CDCR for respecting the process.

Sincerely,

Robert Henry D-32467
CHCF PWC-108u
PO BOX 31960
Stockton California 95213

Introducing Deandre Hill

Deandre Hill with his supervisors from the volunteer educational program

Deandre Hill with his supervisors from the volunteer educational program

Hi there – my name is Deandre Hill, I am 29 years old, and I am serving a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP).  In 2008, I was convicted of murder robbery under the Felony Murder Role as an aider and abettor.  I take full responsibility for my participation in the robbery although there was no intent on any of this happening.

I did not commit the homicidal act nor did I have any knowledge that it was going to happen. However, I still regret my participation and wish that I could have done more to prevent it.  I am now a husband, stepfather, uncle and a better role model for many youth as well as my family and I am passionate about promoting education and giving back to my community.

I was born and raised in Oakland and am the youngest of 4 siblings with two brothers and a sister.  My father has been incarcerated throughout my whole life. In 2003 when I was 14 years of age, my mother passed away from cancer.  I then went to live with my grandmother with very little time she taught me a lot.  Responsibility, good work ethics, proper goal setting amongst many other things.  Unfortunately, I still sought guidance and approval from my peers who were the wrong role models.

I have now matured and I strive to give back to society in any way that I can.  I have maintained employment throughout my incarceration as a tutor and clerk within the education department.  I have earned my GED and I am now in pursuit of my AA degree.  I have completed several self-help programs as well as facilitator training.  Furthermore, I have managed to stay clean of any violence for 10 years now with hopes to be a better example to other young men.

Meet Roy L. Walker

Roy L. Walker photo age 18 and his aunt Missy

Me and Aunt Missy, age 18

My name is Roy L. Walker (V-41346) and I am 37-years-old. I’ve been in prison approximately 19 years (I was arrested at the age of 18) and was given a Life Without Parole sentence.

Let me give you some background on me and how I grew up. I was taken out of my father’s house at the age of 12 due to child abuse and was placed in the foster care system. At the age of 13, my mother passed away from breast cancer and I felt lost. I went from one foster home to another, and then at the age of 14, I was put in a group home after going to juvenile hall for an altercation that I had with my aunt and uncle. I was always looking for that ‘family environment,’ and I felt I’d found that acceptance in the streets. I never went around looking for trouble, but I looked at my friends as my family and I was willing to defend them at all costs (sometimes even to the determent of my own safety).

At 18-years-old, I was arrested for murder over a misunderstanding (I now know). After 2 1/2 years, I went to trial and got a hung-jury, the D.A. immediately refilled the charges on me and after 2 years, I went to my second trial. The D.A. argued that I was the primary shooter (there was evidence to prove that I wasn’t), the judge gave instructions to support the primary shooter theory and after 24 hours of deliberation, the jury instruction was changed to add Aider & Abettor  – 30 minutes later, I was found guilty for the new instruction.

Since my incarceration, I’ve done a lot of self-reflection. I received my GED while I was in the county jail and while I’ve been in prison, I have done several self-help groups: Victim Awareness-4x; Anger Management; Relapse Prevention; Denial Management; I’m currently enrolled in Lassen Community College,  and I’m currently the Lead-Coordinator of the Lifers With Optimistic Progress (L.W.O.P.) Group at CSP-Solano.

After the self-reflection that I’ve done, I can honestly say that I regret the harm that I caused his family and the community, and I work every day to put positive energy in the world. I mentor young men that come into the system with a group called Life Line; the group tries to educate these young men on life skills and how to make better decisions and no go through the pitfalls that the mentors went through.

If I was given a second chance, I feel that I can bring positive energy to a community that desperately needs it. I want to open up a Group Home and help the youth that feel like nobody cares or understands them. I know this because when I was in the foster care system, I felt I was just a paycheck to group homes. I was to show the youth that things/life can be different.

Pic. 1 Me and Aunt Missy age 18
Pic. 2 Me, My brother, Father & a few cousins
Pic 3 Me & my brother before my mother’s death
Pic 4 me at Pelican Bay
Pic. 5 my sister, moms, brother and me
Roy L. Walker photo age 18 and his aunt Missy

Me and Aunt Missy, age 18

Photo of Roy L. Walker, Brother, Father & a few cousins

Me, My brother, Father & a few cousins

Photo 3: Roy L. Walker and brother before their mother's death

Me & my brother before my mother’s death

Photo 4: Roy L. Walker at Pelican Bay

Roy L. Walker at Pelican Bay

Photo 5: Roy L. Walker: sister, moms, brother and me

My sister, moms, brother and me