“#FreeDontieMitchell: More Clemency.”
Once again, Governor Cuomo has passed me over for clemency, and many other deserving men and women who have more than paid their debt to society, but have been in prison excessively long. One wonders why Governor Cuomo launched his clemency initiative in 2017 to provide prisoners seeking clemency and opportunities to secure free legal services in connection with preparing clemency applications.
What? Was it all just for the optics in the election years? Well, I’m not the one to be defeated. I’ve survived this long by being a fighter. I get knocked down or set back — sure, I get angry, even depressed at times — but I push on, ever forward, never backwards.
Governor Cuomo has broken his promise. He is ignoring hundreds of clemency applications submitted as a result of his clemency initiative. What kind of sick, twisted game is this? Getting people’s hopes all up but, then dash them against the rock of indifference. We’re real live human beings in here, Governor Cuomo, and many of us deserve a chance. But to hell with begging the governor for that chance, I deserve it.
I’ve more than paid my debt to society. I’ve lost 23 years of my life to prison. Growing up into adulthood behind prison walls. I’ve lost my grandfather, my father, and a baby brother since being in here. I’ve lost the bond with my baby sisters, who are the most precious treasures in my life. Now they rarely reach out to me. What more can I get?
On top of that, I’ve made significant strides in self development and improvement, and have taken leaps in the past two years alone. Plus, I mentor young prisoners on my own time and dime. What more must I give? I’m appealing to you, the public, to decide. I’m asking you for clemency. Governor Cuomo works for you. If you demand my release, he’ll release me.
With that being said, I’m organizing a dual “Free Dontie Mitchell / More Clemency” rally tentatively scheduled for February 14th, 2020 at six o’clock. In front of the state Capitol at Albany and in front of the governor’s office in New York city. I ask that you help me spread the word and I need volunteers to assist with organizing the rally in their respective cities.
If that’s you, send me an email through JPAY. This is Dontie S. Mitchell, better known as Mfalme Sikivu, reporting to you from Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, New York. Follow me @FreeDontieMitchell on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Send me an email or video-gram with your questions and comments. I would love to hear from and struggle with you. Thank you for listening, and God bless.
(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.