An Open Letter to President Obama from a Prison Wife

By · Thursday, April 16th, 2009

April 16, 2009

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

 Re: Michael G. Santos, #16377-004

Dear President Obama:

I write this letter in support of the Petition for Commutation of Sentence submitted by my husband, Michael G. Santos, federal registration number 16377-004.

President Obama, you will find no better candidate deserving of a Presidential commutation.  Michael lives as an extraordinary example of leadership, of hope, and of accomplishment despite the adversity and obstacles erected by the prison system. Michael deserves to have his petition granted. He is well prepared to lead a law-abiding, contributing life as a taxpaying citizen.

Michael has been imprisoned since 1987. During the past 21-plus years of his confinement, he has built an extraordinary record of accomplishments that is unmatched by any other prison inmate. He educated himself, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees. He is a respected contributor to academia, and a published author of six books describing prisons, the people they hold, and strategies for growing through confinement. Michael writes about the need for those who are in prison to accept responsibility, to make amends with society, and to earn their freedom by preparing for a contributing, law-abiding life upon re-entry to society.

Michael is a different man today than he was in 1987. His commitment to values, to discipline, and his efforts to grow into the best human being possible motivate and inspire those around him as well as those who study his work. With determination and discipline, his commitment to contribute to society-despite two decades of confinement in prison-is evident in everything he thinks, everything he says, and everything he does. Michael receives hundreds of letters and electronic messages from university students, leaders in business, leaders in society, academic scholars, citizens of America, and citizens of the world that are written in support of his efforts to earn his release from prison.

Michael is now 45-years old. He embodies the concept of rehabilitation in tangible ,extraordinary, and incomparable ways. He is no longer a reckless twenty-two-year old. In me, he has a loving, supportive wife. His family has remained by his side throughout his imprisonment, and the expansive network of academic, professional, and community support he continues to attract during his confinement includes solid offers for employment upon his release. We all will be there to assist him upon his release.

What benefit to society and to taxpayers is achieved by Michael’s continued confinement? Please grant my husband a Presidential commutation so that he may come home now.

Yours truly,

Carole Santos

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