JANUARY 17, 2018
TO: ALL MY FRIENDS, SUPPORTERS, ADVOCATES;
RE: LETTERS OF SUPPORT TO GOVERNOR BROWN FOR EDWIN JAY HUTCHINSON'S REQUEST FOR COMMUTATION OF SENTENCE
GREETINGS IN PEACE,
I AM CALLING UPON EVERY INDIVIDUAL, ORGANIZATION, ANYONE WHO MAY VIEW THIS BLOG TO SEND A LETTER AND/OR AND E-MAIL TO THE "LEGAL AFFAIRS SECRETARY" SUPPORTING MY APPLICATION FOR COMMUTATION OF SENTENCE WHICH I FILED ON JANUARY 22, 2018. [SEE ATTACHED DOCUMENTS.]
* LETTERS CAN BE SENT TO: OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR STATE CAPITOL ATTN: LEGAL AFFAIRS SECRETARY SACRAMENTO, CA 95814-4900
* EMAIL: GOV.CA.GOV/PDF/INTERACT/LEGAL_AFFAIRS
PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW I HAVE DEMONSTRATED ACCOUNTABILITY, MATURITY, AND REHABILITATION; ALSO THAT EVEN THOUGH I HAVE MADE CHOICES WITH SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES, YOU BELIEVE THAT I AM CAPABLE OF REDEMPTION.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE. UNTIL NEXT TIME, TAKE CARE AND BE SAFE.
FROM THE DESK OF
EDWIN JAY HUTCHINSON
September 14, 2017
ATTENTION: Legal Affairs Secretary
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: APPLICATION FORM OF EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY IN THE SPIRIT AND INTENT PURSUANT TO THE PASSAGE OF PROPOSITION 57
Greetings in peace,
I am writing this informal letter to humbly request that this office sends me an APPLICATION FORM OF EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY, and take a cursory look at the mitigating factors of my case, institutional behaviour including both my rehabilitative programming and institutional exemplary conduct, family and community support, financial and social integration plans, non-violent elements of commitment offense, along with CDCR staff and officers whom all testify to my character and demeanor, then look at this relevant and reliable information and determine whether I still pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community, at the age of 57 years old.
I am a "second termer," convicted and sentenced under the Three Strikes law to a prison term of thirty (30) years to Life for a wholly NON-VIOLENT, no weapons involved, with no physical injures inflicted, second-degree robbery of fast food restaurants in Long Beach, CA. My offense was committed while I was highly intoxicated on crack cocaine and I offer this as no excuse. I was totally and unequivocally wrong for my actions and I do take complete responsibility of the decisions I made over eighteen (18) years ago.
However, the crime I committed back in 1999, does not define me as the person that I am today. The events of my crime, my background and situation circumstances may have influenced my decision making capabilities then; but today, I am fully responsible for who I will be when I walk out of San Quentin State Prison.
Since 2002, I have focused all my efforts in developing my true authentic self, and did so by transforming the way I think, see, and behave so it has become my natural way of living. I do not blame society, social conditions, or environmental factors for my past behaviour, and this "self-connection" allows me to have empathy towards others. I have remained drug/alcohol free since April 10, 1999, and have participated in, completed, and/or facilitated in numerous cognitive behavioural groups in order to further my self-improvement, growth, and development while assisting others on this path. Please review a sample of what a State Senator and Assemblyman, as well as, others have to say about me. [see attached]
Will this office simply CONSIDER bring my case before Governor Brown for a review to see if an "executive clemency" would be warranted in light one the passage of Proposition 57? This request is in the spirit of the California voters who overwhelmingly pass this initiative to give NON-VIOLENT offenders, such as myself, an opportunity to reenter society and return to their loved ones whom were force to make lives without them.
In conclusion, since failure on parole is NOT an option for me at the age of 57; I humbly ask you to seriously review and consider all the relevant and reliable information about me, then make a decision as to whether I still pose an unreasonable risk of violence and/or public safety to the community. Please note, with my academic and vocational skills, coupled with the interpersonal social skills that I've honed, and with the "right attitudes," values, sense of responsibility, and self-reliance necessary to live in the mainstream of society "drug-free"; I will be a successful, legitimate, contributing member of society. Thank you for your time, consideration, and efforts in this matter. I await your reply
Edwin Jay Hutchinson [signature]
Edwin Jay Hutchinson
Edwin Jay Hutchinson CDCR No. P-68859
Housing Unit: 1-N-34L / 1 Main Street
San Quentin, California 94974-0001
Application For Commutation Of Sentence
2. Briefly describe the circumstances of the crime(s) for which you are requesting a commutation:
Response: On February 27, 1999 at 6:17PM, I was highly intoxicated and walked into the Fabulous Charbroiler rest and proceed to rob Mrs. Theresa Martell of the stores money. I had been smoking crack cocaine, marijuana, and drinking alcohol for much of that day. Things only got worse.
On March 21, 1999, at 9:00PM, I had been smoking crack cocaine for approximately five hours. My life, at the point in time, had been reduced to living at a Salvation Army homeless facility in Long Beach, CA. This was due in part to cycles of events that made my life unmanageable, including but not limited to, a failed marriage, loss of employment, chronic negative emotional states, thinking errors, and an undiagnosed bi-polar disorder which all were causative factors that helped to derailed my life. I was to return back to the homeless facility before 10:00PM, yet, realizing I would not be allowed to enter because I was "high" and smelled of alcohol, I made an apparently irrelevant decision which led me into a high risk situation of committing the robberies for which I am currently incarcerated. At this lowest juncture in my life, when I made the decision to commit the robberies, I wasn't able to deal with the disappointments and failures in my life. This coupled with my low self-esteem, pride and my past criminal behaviour, made it simple for me to rob. I was walking the streets of Long Beach, cold, hungry and stressed-out, thinking about how five or six hundred dollars would really help my situation. I felt selfish, reckless, irresponsible, and depressed, so I did not have any respect for other people's boundaries. At 9:30PM, I walked into a Taco Bell restaurant on Long Beach Boulevard south of Willow Street and without any weapons and/or physical violence, I robbed Mr. Robert Taylor of the stores money. At 10:20PM, that same night, while walking down 7th Street, I entered a Domino's Pizza restaurant and once again, without a weapon and/on inflicting physical violence, I robbed Mrs. Zoraida Licon, Mr. Samuel Gonzales, Mr. Carlos Verdiales, and Mr. Rigoberto Gonzales of the store's money.
I want to say that there is NO JUSTIFICATION for what I did 19+ years ago.
Being under the influence of crack cocaine and alcohol, at the time of my crimes, did contribute to my faulty thinking and behaviors which I exhibited on the night of my crimes, but this admission is not meant to be an excuse. Although these external factors contributed to my crimes, I still chose to get high those nights, so I had a choice. Therefore, I take full responsibility and accountability for my actions and consequences as a result, thereof.
3. Explain why you are requesting a commutation:
Response: I am requesting a commutation because the best way to "show" Governor Brown, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, and the Board of Parole Hearings that I no longer pose a risk and/or danger to society; is by "proving" that I actually REHABILITATED myself from the inside-out and I understand the causative factors that attributed to my coming to prison. Starting in 2002, I proactively began doing much reflective work on myself because I realized that I was a person who made a lot of "bad choices" throughout my life. I learned to take responsibility after seeing I was in denial about my crimes and substance abuse issues during one of my self-help groups. It took time for me to hold myself fully accountable for my actions because of the guilt and shame I felt for committing these senseless crimes and for having an uncontrolled addiction to drugs and alcohol. I decided to CHANGE when I finally came to terms about "who I was" and I recognized all the pain, suffering, trauma and grief I brought to so many people by my negative actions. I told myself that I needed to be a "better person."
Therefore, I have attached exhibits demonstrating how the implementation of self-help groups, educational/vocational training, work ethics, positive programming, respect for staff and peers, and transformative behavioural patterns have CHANGED my attitudes, beliefs, and decision-making capabilities.
A cursory review of Exhibit I - SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM; shows how I have addressed my addiction issues and how they related to my crimes and criminal thinking and lifestyle, which contributed to my instant offense. As a result, I have remained free from illicit drugs/alcohol since April 10, 1999, I know what my internal and external "triggers" are, I've developed a "relapse prevention plan" with immediate and long-term solutions, a list of people to contact, and I've identified my "red flags" warnings. This insight demonstrates understanding of my past criminal lifestyle. I have developed ways of dealing with "high-risk situations" regarding this and ways I plan to cope with this in society. These are just a few of the "coping strategies" that I've learned in my self-help groups that make me feel confident and relaxed when I encounter my "triggers" and "red flag warnings."
Exhibit J - CASE MANAGER PROGRESS NOTES & RISK ASSESSMENTS; shows that through CCCMS treatment, I have addressed my "Bi-Polar Disorder, Mood Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder, of which I was diagnosed. Subsequently, I was removed from MHSDS and CCCMS treatment and discontinued all psychotropic medications on September 27, 2012. My California Static Risk Assessment score is an one (1) and a LOW. My CDCR 7447 mental health evaluation shows favourable chronic/acute/protective risk factors with "LOWS" in all areas. All my psychological evaluations indicate a "low" risk of danger, future violence and recidivism, with "high" insight, remorse and rehabilitation. This information and conclusions of these Clinicians and Doctors offers proof of my diminished risk of threat or danger to society.
Exhibit K - TRANSITIONAL HOUSING & EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS; shows that I have actively sought and have been pre-approved to numerous "transitional housing" facilities located in the San Quentin/East Bay, Los Angeles, and Orange County areas. As planning for re-entry is the most important factor assuring my success, I take seriously the challenged I will face when I return back to society from this prison. The steps that I've already taken demonstrates that I understand that success in the community is accomplished by resolving potential barriers. I have a "Plan A, B, C, and D" to illustrate I am prepared for the "unknown." These plans include, but is not limited to, where I will live, who can help me to get settled, and my plans to avoid people, places, anything that may cause me to relapse. As exemplified, I have given serious thought to my inventory of transitional housing needs.
Attached herein is also "verifiable" offers of employment. These contacts show my attempts and successes in finding gainful and meaningful employment upon release from custody, my ability to generate business correspondence, and also verifies my resume content in the fields of work I have much experience in. I've established a positive report with the Employment Development Department's (EDD) Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist, Mr. Matthew Grimm (Santa Rosa) whom provides me with assistance, resources, and information in my job search. Finding and having these networks, "potential" employers, and contacts is a small first step that will generate huge benefits upon release, and further demonstrated that commutation of my sentence is warranted.
EXHIBIT L - REFERENCE/SUPPORT LETTERS; these attest to what my family members, friends, and community members, have to say about the person I am today, including California State Senator Holly Mitchell (30th District) and State Assembly member Mike Gipson (64th District), whom all are and will continue being important components of my "parole plans." These letters also describe how others have seen my life-affirming transformation, over years of direct observation, and speaks to my awareness of my instant offense, accountability for my actions and demonstrated remorse. It should be duly noted these interpersonal contacts with these community members all expound upon my growth and maturity during my time in custody and, more importantly, how I am a suitable candidate for parole. In other words, they have witnessed me complete my educational goals, maintained participation in self-help programs and/or the community serving programs that I have or am currently involved with now. These letters prove I am suitable for parole based on my prior reputation in the community, my good character, productive life prior to incarceration, past contributions to society, my ability to contribute once again if released, community and at-risk youth involvement, my attitudes and the use of my time during my incarceration.
Exhibit M - EDUCATION & VOCATIONAL TRAINING; shows "source documents" of my educational and vocational achievements, including verification of my high school diploma, college transcripts, grades, Associates of the Arts degree, and vocational skills acquired. Obtaining these personal goals displays how I'm prepared for today's job markets and how my institutional behaviour and adjustments were geared towards higher learning and progress in areas including, but not limited to, COMPUTER CODING, ADDICTION RECOVERY COUNSELING, and obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice upon release.
Exhibit N - CERTIFICATES OF ACHIEVEMENT; shows I either participated in and/or facilitated self-help groups or other educational/vocational programs in order to gain real insight into my character at the time of my crime and to help me to make changes in my beliefs, thinking and behaviors so that I will never cause harm to myself or another person again. These certificates serve to validate that I made in-direct amends by facilitating self-help groups and providing educational tutoring, both inside this prison environment and to outside members of our society.
Exhibit O - SELF HELP GROUPS & LAUDATORY CHRONOS; demonstrates how self-help groups helped me to address my specific behavioural problems. It also shows my responsibility of taking the initiative to get involved in my own rehabilitation. I have over 100+ "Laudatory Chronos" dating back to March 18, 2003 from Correctional Counselor-II W. Burgess. Others include, but are not limited to, acknowledgements from groups like Victim-Offenders Education Group(VOEG), Project L.A., Teaching Responsibility Utilizing Sociological Training (T.R.U.S.T.), Restorative Justice, Turning Point, Patten University, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Addiction Recovery Counseling (ARC), and various Veterans Support groups. I also have numerous chromos and Letters of Support/Recommendation from CDCR Staff and Correctional Officers whom observe my daily demeanor and speaks to my character and institutional behaviour. (Please review electronic C-File)
Notably, the chrono I'm most honoured by is when Lieutenant Sam Robinson commended me for the "Heroic Act" of saving a person's life on July 16, 2012. (Chrono dated: August 1, 2012) This chrono, standing alone, demonstrated my rehabilitation, which proves I am no longer a risk of danger to society.
Exhibit P - LETTERS OF REMORSE; shows that with deep thought and consideration, I wrote and sent letters to the Office of Survivor Rights and Services which were directed to my victims. In these letters, I sent my apology, acknowledge the harm(s) I caused to these individuals, and I did NOT ask for forgiveness, nor expected anything in return. I simply admitted my "wrongs without minimizing.
For all the foregoing reasons, this is why I am requesting a commutation of my sentence as I have continued to demonstrate sustained change over the past 19+ years.
4. Provide a brief statement explaining why you should be granted a commutation:
Response: Very simply, the offenses I committed on the nights of February 27 and March 21, 1999, were a manifestation of many causative internal and external factors, such as mental illness, being under the influence of crack cocaine/alcohol, faulty thinking, high-risk situations, etc. What I have learned is that I had many underlying issues like unresolved childhood trauma involving sexual abuse, abandonment, neglect, unprocessed resentments, low self-esteem, and one that I never realized..., "a fear of success." Today, I'm NOT afraid to succeed.
In conclusion, commutation should be granted because at the age of 58, I am mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually a different man from the person who entered prison over 19 years ago. I am no longer that selfish, self-centered, reckless, irresponsible individual I once was. I'm much more mature and have learned what it means to care about others and I have EMPATHY. I've learned to be patient, understanding causes of my irresponsible behaviour. Lastly, I understand how normalizing my criminal behaviour was problematic and I no longer accept my distorted thinking as a way of living my life. I have learned much about myself these past 19+ years and I am determined to continue changing my attitude, thinking and my overall life for the better.
To learn more, please visit my blog at http://betweenthebars.org/blogs/1557/Edwin-J-Hutchinson.
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