|James and his daughter 2012
|James Earl Jackson with his daughter
|several years ago
My Life, My Story, My Struggles
James Earl Jackson #200607
P.O. Box 282
Plymouth, Wisconsin 53073 - 0282
My name is James Earl Jackson. I was born in St. Louis, MO on April 1, l976. I am now 36 years old. I am the second oldest of four. I am my mothers only son.
I grew up on the north side of Milwaukee. My mother moved here after my father was killed in St. Louis. My father was shot and killed just two weeks after my second birthday. I was too young to remember my father but I was told that my father was a good man and loved me as his own. I always wanted a father when I was growing up! And for some reason I always wanted to meet the person who murdered my Dad.
My mother’s name was Irishstina Ann Jackson and for whatever reason, she always told people that she was from the ‘show me state” whenever she became upset. My mother was a good mother as a single mother of four(3 girls, one boy) . She did the best that she could to raise and to provide for us. I love my mother very much and I will always remember her as the number one mom in the world.
Unfortunately my mother was not strong enough to continue facing and standing up to all the problems that life put on her. She looked for and found her peace of mind in the use of drugs and alcohol. Tragically on June 1, l990 at 6:30 pm that Friday evening my mother was pronounced dead.
The cause of my mother’s death was a drug overdose. Sadly my mother was pregnant with twins when she died. My mother was 33 years old at the time of her death. She was so young and certainly too young to have died.
I was l4 years old when my mother died. I remember feeling like life doesn’t matter to me anymore and as I had no father and now no mother, I felt like I wanted to die myself.
I never had a male figure in my life to guide me positively to the duties of manhood. I never had a positive example to follow in my transformation from a boy to a man! I was a little boy in pain being emotionally destroyed by all that was happening to me in my life. I just wanted to feel loved and accepted by somebody. I wanted a family I just wanted to feel like somebody.
At 14 years old I felt like I had nobody to turn to. I felt like nobody understood me and how I was feeling about the loss of my mother. I turned to my childhood friends in my neighborhood because they are the only people that I felt understood me. For the most part we all was fatherless and had drug addicted mothers. Everyone called us trouble makers and told us that we all would be dead or in prison before our 18th birthdays ( Sadly, these predictions were correct).
By this time in my life I didn’t care about what people said about me or my childhood friends because the truth is that, I found love and acceptance in my friends they were the only family that I had known. None of us had parents to tell us what to do or when to come in , or where to go to school etc… For the most part we all did whatever we wanted to do. We had no curfew so staying out on the streets until two or three oclock in the morning was normal for us.
As a child I had so much anger inside of me, I didn’t care about who I hurt nor did I care about what might happen tome. I hated God. I hated life and honestly I hated being me.
In l992 shortly before my daughter was born, I committed a horrifying crime. I shot and killed a man in his own home. On June 10 1992(at 16 years old) I turned myself in to the Milwaukee police department for the crime I had committed. I was sent to a juvenile detention center and shortly thereafter I was waived and moved to the adult court system. ( I never seen or hugged my daughter as a free man).
My being 16 years old at the time, I didn’t understand anything about the law nor the legal troubles that I was in. I was kept among adult repeat offenders and they repeatedly told me to go to jury trial and to not take the plea deal that my public defender attorney advised me to take. As I listened to these adults , I went to jury trial, (against my own choice) and I was found guilty of 1st degree intentional homicide.
On Jan. 5, l993 – 3 months before my 17th birthday- I was sentenced to life in prison with a parole eligibility date set for January, 2025.
At the time I committed my crime I didn’t understand the seriousness of what I had done. I didn’t understand the seriousness of what I had done to the victim or myself.
I wasn’t until I was around 29 years old, that I finally began to realize the truly reality of what I had done. It was at this time that I began to realize and fully understand how much pain that I had caused my victim’s family, and that I had taken a life from this world.
I then started thinking about the relationship between actions and consequences. This started me to thinking about good choices rather than fast bad choices. With this I began to adopt positive change in my life. I begin to think before acting. I started to understand the importance of making productive decisions rather than destructive decisions. I finally understand the power of positive thinking.
I have learned so much in prison. I understand that some mistakes I will never stop paying for and that I have to learn to live the and deal with my life problems in a responsible manner. I have learned how to accept responsibility for all my actions. As a child I didn’t know how to accept responsibility for my actions because I always made an excuse and put blame for my action on the things that I been through as a child.
As my mind matured, I came to realize that I am the only person that is responsible for my actions, and for all the choice that I make in my life. As a man I accept full responsibility for everything I have done. I have made so many mistakes and I have learned from my mistakes but most importantly I have also learned from the mistakes of others.
As a mentally matured adult I don’t believe that I should be let off the hook for my crimes as a juvenile. I believe that everyone should be punished for any and all criminal activity in which he or she involve themselves in whether he or she be a juvenile or an adult, however I strongly believe in second chances! I don’t believe that a 15 year old or a l6 year old juvenile should be sent to prison for life as if a juvenile can’t change his or her ways of thinking. . Juveniles can change and I believe that all juveniles should be given a second chance to prove that their destructive behavior could be transformed into positive constructive behavior if given the chance to prove it. I’m a 36 year old man . I been in prison since I was 16 years old and since I been in prison I have changed my way of thinking and I have changed my behavioral patters. I have earned my H.S.E.D. and I became a licensed barber/cosmetologist. I have took classes on character development and I’m constantly trying to better myself as a person.
My goals are to be home with my 20 year old daughter that would love for me to be a part of her life. If paroled I want to open my own barbershop and start an Intervention program for troubled teen to help them to not make the same mistakes that I have made.
I am praying for a second chance at real life. If you have any questions or comments please write me at address listed above.
James Earl Jackson #200607
P.O. Box 282
Plymouth, Wisconsin 53073 - 0282