Throwing Away the Key

Why Gov. Davis' just-say-no parole policy is wrong, Exhibit No. 1: Eddy Zheng has earned a college degree in prison, sings in a church choir, works with at-risk youth, has the support of clergymen, college professors, his prison counselor, and the

"I don't know that the citizens will ever forgive you," the commissioner interrupted. "My job is not to forgive you, my job is to see if I feel you are any longer a threat to the public, and I feel there are still parts of you that you need to work on."

"I will continue to work on that," replied Zheng, "however I'm left with a void, that in previous hearings, back in 1996 and 1997, 1998, commissioners voted for my parole because they see who I am today. They saw that I am ready for society. And then the next two hearings, I'm being painted as this criminal that has never changed, and I'll never get out ..."

"You are a criminal," the commissioner interjected.

Mary and Larry Zheng say their son is rehabilitated and 
they would do anything for his freedom.
Paolo Vescia
Mary and Larry Zheng say their son is rehabilitated and they would do anything for his freedom.
Critics of California's parole policy say politics alone 
keeps Eddy Zheng in San Quentin State Prison.
Paolo Vescia
Critics of California's parole policy say politics alone keeps Eddy Zheng in San Quentin State Prison.

"I am no longer a criminal. I was a criminal," Zheng said indignantly.

"First and foremost, you are a criminal, that's why you are here. You will always be a criminal; there's nothing that says a criminal can't change."

Zheng collected his thoughts in silence. "Do you believe in your heart that I haven't made any changes?" he asked.

"I do believe you've made changes ... but not enough to be a regular citizen," the commissioner said.

"I appreciate what you guys are doing, I believe in the law," Zheng said finally. "What I'm trying to say is that I was not given an opportunity for you to open your hearts, for you to see who I am."

"Society will forgive you one day," the commissioner said, hurriedly motioning the hearing to an end. "We can't tell you when, but they will forgive you one day."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
 
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...