To: parole chairman Dean Stensberg, DOC Secretary Edward Wall, The Wisconsin State House, The Wisconsin State Senate, and Governor Tony Evers
Petition for the Release of Shulbert WIlliams
Shulbert was 17 years old when he committed his crime and 18 when arrested. He was convicted of 4 counts of armed robbery and sentenced to an astounding 130 years in prison. He has not seen the parole board. He is now 37 years old and has in been prison 20 years. He has completed a wide range of rehabilitative programs spanning vocational certificates, educational courses, coping skills, has completed an additional 30 self-help programs.
Here are his words:
“To give you a little background on myself, I've been incarcerated in maximum security prison for approximately 20 years now. I was convicted on 4 counts of armed robbery as a teenager and sent to prison at the age of 18. 1 will be 38 years old November 19, 2015.
"As a juvenile, I suffered from certain pressures around me. "Consequently, I "thought" as a juvenile would. However, I do know that I am not the same person who participated in the commission of my crimes, have paid my debt to society, and all while learning a most needed lesson, in regards to ethics and manners. I once thought I knew everything there was to know about life. The truth, in short, I was ignorant, immature, uneducated, impressionable and very much underdeveloped. The manner in which I justified my actions as a young teen was that, no one was being hurt physically so what I was doing was okay. In my mind, I could only associate "pain" with someone who was being hurt physically.
"Right now today, as a refined, mature, educated, grown adult, I'm able to identify and recognize 'errors in thinking' I simply wasn't able to grasp as a teenager. When one knows better, one does better ... I now associate "pain" with anyone who is hurt physically, as well as mentally and emotionally. Where there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the same. And as such, the impact is felt the same.”
It is hard for us to understand such a severe sentence. This is throwing a life away and stating loudly and clearly to the world that people do not change. A boy did the robberies and we now know how undeveloped the juvenile brain is and how wrong that attitude that says “once a criminal always a criminal” is. Studies have shown that the tendency toward crime concentrates on young males under 30 when the level drops precipitously. After 50, it is virtually zero. Shulbert needs to have his sentence reduced in the light of an evolving society and he is ready for parole.
Please support him as he tries to get his life back.
Why is this important?
My name is Barbara Robinson and I have two sons that are incarcerated in Wisconsin. I am writing this letter in support of their petitions. My sons have been incarcerated for 20 years. They were juveniles when an Armed Robbery crime was committed. They were charged and convicted as Party to a Crime Armed Robbery. They were both sentenced to over 100 years plus. My sons were both high school graduates with jobs but made a wrong choice. They both realize that and over the past 20 years have grown into young men with values of life. The crime they were convicted of did not result in any one's death or serious injury.
I, along with my parents who are 82 years old and other family members, have always been there for my sons. They come from a loving background, Christian family. My family and I have always been there for them and will continue to be very supportive because they have changed and learned a lot from the consequences they have suffered and paid to society.
Lawrence and Shulburt Williams have completed all programs required of them that were offered, along with additional college courses. They both have a very good report with staff workers. My family have been owners of our Bowling Alley for thirty years, and my sons would have no problem with job opportunities. We stand behind them 101%. I am a retired Police Officer as well as a 23 year Veteran in the United States Air Force. My sons are not a threat to the community. They have paid the price to come home. It has been a long 20 years.
As a caring mother, wife, daughter, sister and aunt I am requesting my sons be released from prison at this time. My parents' health is not the best, and they would like to reunite with their grandsons. Please sign my sons petition as it goes forward. Thank you very much.