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.