SHUAIB ABDUR RAHEEM RELEASE
We, the undersigned citizens herby affirm that Shuaib Abdur-Raheem has paid his debt to society and deserves to be released as soon as humanly possible. Several months ago, the New York State Parole Board granted him parole and later suspended his decision to be released. We are all familiar with the nature of his crime for which he has served nearly 35 years. We are also aware that he enlisted in the Air Force in 1967, served in a Bomber wing during the Vietnam era, and was honorably discharged; and that he worked from the time he was 7 years old and supported his wife, mother and siblings; and that the terrible crime for which he was convicted represents an aberration for a man with no prior involvement in crime or the criminal justice system. During his incarceration, he has held Inmate Program Aide positions for many years, working with teachers, chaplains, and counselors, and has been very active in the well-regarded Youth Assistance Program in at least five different prisons. He also holds a Masters Degree from the New York Theological Seminary. He is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Restorative Justice Sub-Committee of the Lifers and Long-Termers Organization at Shawangunk Correctional Facility. The positions he has held within correctional facilities over the course of his 35-year incarceration have been among the most responsible and respected positions within the prison system. As we are sure your records show, he is held in the highest regard by the Department of Correctional Services staff, many of whom have expressed their support of him. Shuaib has extraordinary family support, which has been crucial to his ability to serve one of the longest terms of any person incarcerated in New York State. Mr. Raheem, now age 58, is not the same individual who went to prison in 1973. He has developed intellectually and spiritually, and taken advantage of every opportunity for personal growth and development. He has worked hard to develop the insight and humility that allowed him to take full responsibility for the crime he committed. Everyone who knows Mr. Raheem knows that he feels extreme remorse for his crime, and has attempted in every way available to him to make amends. He has taken responsibility for his actions, and has changed his life, which is what our legal and spiritual traditions ask of us. Mr. Raheem poses no threat to public safety. He is nearly 60 years old, had no criminal involvement prior to his incarceration, and exhibits no behavior that would suggest future criminal involvement. The recidivism rates of people convicted of Murder are extremely low, and for those who have attained the age of 55 and/or have served more than 30 years, the likelihood of recidivism is even lower. His co-defendant was released ten years ago, apparently without public outcry, further criminal involvement, or negative impact on the victim. Holding Mr. Raheem for a decade longer than his co-defendant is unconscionable. We all wish to welcome him back home in order for him to get on with his life and serve as a role model to others.