Statement of Jonathan Walker SB114
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Jonathan Walker and I am currently serving a seventy-year sentence for my role in a deadly altercation that ended in murder. I was a young man, just three months into my seventeenth year, when myself and two other participants got into the altercation with the victim in our case.
At the time of the offense I was young and destitute, living on friends' couches, trying to survive and still go to school. Due to legal issues I was unable to leave Alaska to live with my mother in fear of getting myself or her into trouble with the law. I was able to live off and on with my father and worked for him whenever I could.
I am forty years old now. I have been incarcerated for well over 23 years. In this timeframe, I have identified who I am and what I want for myself. I believe whole heartedly that I have matured from that know-it-all kid that I was, to an adult who studies, learns, helps others, and gives of myself whenever I can.
To be given the opportunity for parole, after all these years, would be a miracle. To finally be seen as the adult I am, and not the child I was, would mean that those who get to decide my fate acknowledge that I am no longer the irresponsible, wild, young kid that once roamed the streets. They would see that I am a man who has learned what my issues are, and I continually deal with those issues as they present themselves.
I have gone to college, learned a skilled trade, and studied the culture of the Alaska Native Peoples. I regularly give back to my community through donations of my craft/trade. In this journey I have asked people to believe in me, and they have. This shows in my local network of people whom I am in constant/weekly contact with. My support network is willing and ready to help provide me with any form of reintegration to society that may be needed.
Most of all, if I was given this opportunity to be a member of society once again, it would mean that I wouldn't have to suffer the losses of my loved ones alone anymore, crying to myself. I would be able to see and help my elderly grandparents who have Alzheimer's and dementia. I could spend valuable time with my mother who is medically disabled. I would be able to be a provider, not a receiver for them.
Parole would give me the chance to be a part of my community, something that is so much bigger than myself. I would have the opportunity to build local relationships and help people where needed; always putting others first. I could finally feel human again and maybe start some form of family myself.
I would like to make mention that over these 23 years, I have enrolled in and graduated every rehabilitative program offered. I have been OMP (Offender Management Program) complete for a number of years. I feel that more time is not helpful in advancing my rehabilitative needs. Time itself has become stagnant and redundant. There is no further DOC programming provided that would further my rehabilitative needs to becoming a useful member of society. The only answer now would be to give me the opportunity of parole, to learn, to live and to succeed as I have demonstrated I am capable of doing these past 23+ years.