1) Now that I'm getting older and don't know how much time I've left in this world, I felt I needed to
discuss a number of personal matters with them, as it may be my last opportunity to ever speak
with them in person.
2) I felt it necessary to personally express to the members of the parole panel my continual sorrow and deep remorse for my past criminal actions. Prior to this I said these things via a written statement but thought it better to express these thoughts while sitting in front of them.
3) I came to apologize for the horrific loss of lives and to take responsibility for my criminal actions,
even though I believe I was not in my right mind at the time of the commission of these crimes. That such a thing would never happen again.
4) To ask forgiveness from the families of the victims, from society, and even from the members of
the parole board.
5) To inform the board of some of what I have accomplished during my 28 years of incarceration while at Sullivan Correctional Facility; 39 years of incarceration altogether.
6) To tell them of my hopes and dreams for the future even if I am to remain locked up.
Since my arrival at Sullivan Correctional facility some 28-plus years ago, I believe that in the course of time I have been a help to both the facility's staff and inmates. For example, I was trained as an "lnmate Program Aide" (IPA), and worked as something of a peer counselor for those who were housed in E-North's "lntermediate Care Program" (ICP) for various mental health and psychiatric reasons. I lived in the prison's general population but worked at the 64-man ICP Unit on weekdays
where I helped care for these men.
In addition, I have spent time serving at the "Sensorial Disabled Unit" where offenders who have varying degrees of visual impairment needed daily assistance.
I was also employed as a chaplain's assistant and clerk, and for many years I helped oversee the worship services and Bible studies. Some of my responsibilities included coordinating the
services, setting up the chapel for various events, doing paperwork, and welcoming the civilian volunteers who came into the chapel.
The chaplaincy and correctional staff had no qualms allowing me to help watch over the men and women who regularly came to minister to the inmates. In all the years I was housed at Sullivan there was never a serious problem with the volunteers. Clearly the staff never viewed me as a risk or threat, nor as a potential security problem. Had they done so, obviously, I never would've been permitted to function in this capacity.
I believe that throughout the years spent at Sullivan Correctional Facility, I was able, with God's help, to do many good and beneficial things, both for my fellow offenders, and for the staff as well. As a Christian and caregiver, I have counseled and prayed with countless men, some who have lost a loved one or were despairing over the news of a very sick family member. While others were despondent at having lost contact with someone whom they were once close to. I made sure I was available to help anyone who requested prayer or advice. I tried to be there for those who were depressed.
In my free time I would write letters and messages with spiritual themes, which, I believe, have provided hope and inspiration to many people from all walks of life. I have written extensively on such subjects as forgiveness, redemption and persevering under difficult circumstances as well as on the need to discourage gun violence.
Not that any of this means anything overall. But I hope it does show the members of the parole board that I have devoted my life to doing good, and that the staff at Sullivan Correctional Facility considered me to be trustworthy, dependable and respectful. For this I am most thankful. I especially thank God for changing my life and making all this possible. I likewise hope to continue to do good in the future, even if I have to take my last dying breath behind prison walls. I want to continue to be something of a role model for my fellow inmates as well as a source of hope and inspiration to whomever I can. Thank you!
Shawangunk Correctional Facility
May 17, 2016