Robert Seth Hayes has been to the New York state parole board nine times and has been denied each time. His next parole board appearance will be in early June 2016. Each time, the board—always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors—reviews his very impressive record, all the institutional programs participated in and completed, college attended while inside, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. Seth had a petition that received over 1000 signatures at his last trip to the board.
They have before them evidence of all the ways Seth has helped so many people throughout the course of his confinement and is still leading a positive and progressive life despite being locked up now for over four decades. And then they deny him parole based on their opinion that to release him would “deprecate” the serious nature of his charge of conviction. Is this rationale not, in effect, an illegal re-sentencing to life-without-the-possibility-of parole? When one goes to trial, there is a prosecutor, one’s defense attorney, a judge, and a jury. When one goes to the parole board, there is only the prosecution.
Seth has taken responsibility for his part in the Black Liberation Movement’s resistance to racist authority. He has paid a great price—43+ years of imprisonment thus far. He is going to the New York state parole board for the tenth time in June 2016 and deserves to be paroled, to come home to his family and community.
Please write your letter to the parole board on professional letterhead.
Please indicate how you know Seth, or if you don’t know him personally, how you know of him.
What it would mean to you and the community if Seth was released rather than kept inside?
Who you are, what you do?
Your letter should be addressed to:
Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator
Sullivan Correctional Facility
325 Riverside Drive
P.O. Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116
The subject line should be “Robert Seth Hayes 74A-2280”
Mail to Seth’s Lawyer:
Eve Rosahn, 125 Frenchtown Road, Shohola, PA 18458.
Seth very much appreciates your efforts and your support.
Seth came out of Vietnam into the civil rights and black liberation struggle. Young people were optimistic and working hard for a better world and running into many obstacles. Seth joined the Black Panther Party which fought to end the war in Vietnam, and for decent housing, full employment, education, health care and an end to racist police brutality. In the wake of the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Fred Hampton, to name a few, times got difficult.
Seth and his generation sincerely wanted to make a better world for their children so that they had every opportunity to succeed in life, like all other children. Though hard he worked and well-intentioned were his efforts, many mistakes were made. The state mounted a very fierce campaign locally and nationally against all progressive elements, including a wide array of tactics from false imprisonment to assassinations. Very difficult and different were the times on all sides, lives lost on both. Seth was only a young man then; looking back he takes responsibility for his actions and mourns the loss of all life.
Seth does not want to stay in the past and stuck in a certain framework that he is forever castigated in. After much time, Seth reflects on his younger self and reassesses tactics and strategy and would change a lot. Seth still remains committed to the freedom of all people and equity across the board in all relations from economic, social and political realms.
To write this letter you do not have to agree with or embrace the past. We are asking that you support the release of a man who spent over 43 years of his 67 behind bars taking responsibility for his actions. We ask that he not be hit at the board again for the “serious nature of the crime,” which neither he nor anyone can change. We ask you look at what the law asks for his COMPAS risk assessment, his institutional record, his work history and accomplishments inside.
We are asking you and the state to help us in taking Seth for who he is now. A father, grandfather, husband, friend and great community asset. Upon release, Seth has no plans to participate in any “criminal” activity. He wants to live out his days with his family and going about his original intentions of contributing to society to create a better world for his community.
FACTS about Robert Seth Hayes and his Parole Efforts!
When Robert Seth Hayes goes again to the NY parole board in Feb. 2016, he will have been imprisoned over 43 years.
Seth has appeared before the NY parole board 9 times and been denied each time.
The parole board cites the nature of Seth’s charge of conviction for their denials—a fact which will never change—instead of Seth’s impressive, 43+ years prison record.
Seth accepts responsibility and shows remorse for his past actions.
Seth has devoted his time to mentoring, educating, inspiring others he’s in with, encouraging them to educate themselves and learn skills so that they may live successful, recidivist-free lives when they get out.
Seth has only received one ticket, which was later overturned, since 1989.
Seth has devoted his adult life to uplifting and protecting Black people, and to the betterment of all people in our society.
Seth has multiple non-curable health conditions, including diabetes, congestive heart failure and emphysema, that cannot be treated appropriately while inside the prison walls.
Seth has a strong and loving family: a wife, children and grandchildren that he would love more than anything to join with to enjoy their lives.
Seth is a decorated Vietnam war combat veteran.
Seth, with limited funds, always makes it a point to donate to charities for the less fortunate.
After more than four decades of imprisonment, Seth deserves to come home!
NOW IS THE TIME TO FREE SETH AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
NYC Jericho Movement, P.O. Box 670927, Bronx, NY 10467