— Sen. Elizabeth Warren
All my thoughts center around my family. From when I wake up until I go to sleep until I wake up. They are what makes me tick and bring me joy, yet my heart is melancholy. The battle for possession of my heart is being waged. Joy against sorrow. It’s tiresome to be honest. Think about great love songs; a movie with the impossible perfect happy ending, a masterpiece novel that articulates the intricacies of love. I possess this. I have experienced this. I used the word “experienced” as past tense, as if I no longer possess this fabulous love. Is possession physical?
At times, that’s how I feel. That’s the melancholy. The lack of the physical presence of family. My emotions are in hyperdrive because of my inability to touch. To say, “I love you” to a child is one thing. To hold a hand, kiss a forehead, catch a sparkle of an eye. That solidifies a bond.
I am enthralled with talking with my children. So looking at the glass as half full. Being absent physically has forced our dependence on verbal communication. And I love it. I love hearing my children express themselves. Being close or in proximity of someone everyday can leave a relationship lax in communication. You see them everyday, so a hug and a quick word can pass as effective communication for the day. When I speak to the children, they really talk to me. And each child is at a different stage of development, so it’s fun to dialogue at their respective levels. The baby has a tendency to ramble so I work on focusing her thoughts. The teenager tries to hide behind the one word responses, so I work on uncovering all that is unspoken..
In a sense I feel closer to my children more now, than I have before. Being forced to have our no-contact relationship has strengthened our bond of communication. I’m grateful for this.
There is a side note however. I’ll write about that later.
Another long pause in writing. Same excuses though. Trying to get through each day with as little thought as possible. Living in prison is so much easier when you don’t exist. You just float, go through the motions. Shut the brain off. So that’s what I have been doing mostly.
I haven’t been a complete vegetable however. I’ve been trying hard to enlist friend support in getting out of here. I have two options. One, to hire a lawyer and file motions with the judge that sentenced me to allow me early release. The other is to file paperwork through the Governor’s office for the same goal. Everything I need concerning paperwork is for the most part done. I have received great support letters, employment letters and I have written “my side” of things.
The last step is raising money for a lawyer. The cost is $2500 which isn’t any astronomical sum, but my wife can’t afford to pay it, nor am I in a position to earn it. So we have asked friends to help which , truthfully , has been slow going. But I really can’t expect anyone to treat my needs as a priority in their lives. But I had to ask.
The lawyer would be hired to file motions with the judge. She is familiar with my case and family so I feel confident she would perform well. She also has a relationship with Cleveland’s judges and prosecutors which certainly wouldn’t hurt my cause.
Since raising the money to hire her has not manifested yet, I am also deciding whether to file for clemency through the Governors office. Their is a standard form to fill out and the paperwork needed is nearly identical to what I have already completed: family support, friend letters, community letters, personal accountability. The final piece I need is a criminal history report which I had to send away for. The process for this is like throwing a boomerang into a void and hoping it comes back. I tossed it last week and am blindly awaiting its return.
My sole purpose right now is to get home to my family and reclaim my life of supporting and nurturing them. I’m coming home.
Many of you have offered your time and asked how you can help even further. Please if you are able, chip in on the legal fees for this next go round. We mean to bring him home this time…with your help. Thank you everyone! Please submit all funds by November 10th if at all possible.
If you want to send something via snail mail: A Israel, PO Box 5563, Chicago, IL 60680
I’ve asked all of you to write a letter to Judge McDonnell on my behalf. The state of Ohio is in the process of making changes to the way they run their prison system and how much time should be served by those convicted. I feel it is an opportune time for the legal system to re-evaluate how much time I was given. The goal of course, is for my release and return to those that are my life force, my family.
My wife has valiantly kept our family and businesses running as a successful as they can without me. However, none of them can really function at their best without their husband, father and engine. I value the gift and responsibility of being a provider ,nurturer and comforter for them. Unfortunately, prison has not and can not teach me to be any greater than I am. It can only succeed in harming what I cherish most.
Avigael, my oldest daughter, needs my guidance as she enters adulthood. She has always acted as if she were Ms. Independent. Oh, but I know her better than that. She relies on her parents and because of that, she has been able to comfortably grow into an amazing young woman.
Zerahkyah, my 13 year old son, has taken on the stress of being the man of the house. He has always been the responsible one. I’m so proud of the love he has for his mother and siblings. But he is not a man and needs his father to finish teaching him how to be a great one.
My 11 year old son Tesher is the sensitive protector of our family. His heart resides with the well being of others. Instead of heartache, he needs to be filled with the joy of the secure, loving and complete family he was raised in.
The two youngest ones are in their precious years of development. A father’s presence is essential in their balanced future.. Yaphet, my six year old son, is my little twin, my best friend. He is highly intelligent but showing signs of withdrawal. I’m as essential to his soul as he is to mine. Elianna, my baby girl, is three. She remembers my presence, its part of her DNA. However, she has now spent more time without me than with me. Yet, she asks me to hold her hand and come to her house every time we talk. Girls need a strong male influence and role model in their lives. She is my heart. Her smile, hugs and love inspire me.
My wife, however strong, courageous, amazing she demonstrates herself to be, is hurting the most. She drives herself to stay busy so she wont have to think about or be alone. Our connection is spiritually interlocked. We aren’t even one half of our selves separated from each other. However strong and dynamic our family is; it is nothing compared to how great it is as a whole. There is so much for us to do and give. This can only be accomplished by our unity. The children feel her pain and experience her withdrawal symptoms.
I want my family to be healthy. They deserve what I provide, my everything. This is now what I strive for. Yes, I personally want to be free. More importantly, I want to provide for my family. The love I have for my family is what fuels me. This is what allows me to be a great friend to you and the essence of what I have created in our company.
I started this letter as a small note asking for your help-in writing or videotaping a message to the judge. I had another direction planned. It wasn’t my intention to sound overly dramatic or like a Sally Struthers commercial. I enjoy our friendship, our business contact, our correspondence. I enjoy watching games with you, hanging with you, rubbing elbows with you, consulting with you, making money with you, cooking for you(which I am sure a whole lot of you enjoy most), riding life’s waves with you.
No matter how close we are, how new or old our friendship is; you all comprise my family. And my family needs your help in bringing me home. I may be able to do it without you. I would give my exceedingly best effort. However, with you, I know I will be home for dinner. Write or talk from your heart. The truth speaks for itself.
P.S. In an effort to consolidate correspondence and make a submission as one to the judge for review. Please send letters or video submissions to:
A. Israel, PO Box 5563, Chicago, IL 60680 OR e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
When my husband was sentenced. The bailbond lady told me that my children would suffer the most. She was correct.
Children’s artwork explaining how private prison corporations target citizens
The surface of the issue is barely scratched here. What of the cases where multiple charges are brought to deplete the resources of the accused when only one charge has validity? Or the forced acceptance, in return for a plea deal, of wildly inflated, if not totally untrue, monetary loss (sometimes resulting in the serfdom of restitution)? This begs the question- How many people are being punished for other than their crime?
The above statement was a comment someone posted in response to the article. My reaction was, “You too?” This appears to be common practice among the players in the justice system.
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