Channel 19 CBS News Story – August 2019

On August 13th, 2019, the local Charlottesville CBS affiliate, Channel 19, did a story about Jesse, the turnaround in his life, Virginia’s elimination of parole and the excessive sentencing of Jesse two times the guidelines. To hear Jesse in his own words and see the changes in his life is incredibly moving in Part 1. Part 2 focuses on the lack of parole in Virginia and the issues surrounding a change.

Check out this link to watch Part 1 and Part 2 – https://www.cbs19news.com/content/news/Crossons-clemency-petition-highlights-issues-with-abolishing-parole-540533131.html

Look towards the upper right corner of the video and you will see Clemency Part 1 and underneath that one is Clemency Part 2.

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Here is a transcript of the phone call with Jesse from Part 1. It is a little garbled, yet very powerful to hear him in his own words describe how he turned his life around.

“I would say the transformation really occurred, one, in taking accountability for what I had done and saying, ‘Ok, here I am. This is the bed that I made. Now, how am I going to live best in it, and how am I going to do the best with this,” Crosson said in phone interview from Buckingham Correctional Center where he is serving his sentence. “And two was just reaching out and finding the resources and finding the people who were willing to take the time and energy to help me.”

“It’s truly a plea. It’s saying, ‘Hey, your Honor, I plea to you, based upon all these things that I’ve done, based upon all the things we understand, I just hope that you will consider this and you will consider what’s best for the Commonwealth.  You see young guys, you see middle-aged guys, you see guys all the time getting 30 and 40 and 50 years and basically having no alternative other than either waiting until they’re 60 or 65 years old and applying for geriatric parole or waiting for clemency and hoping the governor will recognize the changes they’ve made and things that they’re doing in their life.”

While he’s been incarcerated, Jesse has earned a college degree in psychology. He’s trained as a cook and electrician. He teaches yoga and Spanish. And he’s a mentor to other inmates with mental health and substance abuse issues. There’s now only one way for Jesse to be released before the end of his sentence: a petition for clemency to the governor.