From death row: "To every young person: the best life for you is a free life. You can turn your

We reproduce here a plea of Anthony Mungin to troublesome youngsters, written in the context of the 20th anniversary of his death sentence:

"Speaking of the youth - I would like to take this opportunity to speak directly to the young people. Even though I am innocent of the crime I am on death row for, I have made mistakes in my life as a teenager and young adult. I truly regret those mistakes. Now as an older, mature adult, I can clearly see what lead to bad decisions. And one of the things I remember feeling as a youth was that no-one understood me, nor cared enough to want to know about what was going on in my life. Mentally and emotionally I was isolated, which caused me to create a safe haven - a mental world of my own. Then I camouflaged my feelings to elude what I considered potential embarrassment. I was ashamed to expose my need for help to those I knew because I felt they didn't have the answers. So I thought no help. I am admitting these things to the young teenagers and young adults -especially the troublesome youngsters, to let you know that there are people in this world that can relate to the things that you are going through with a non judgmental attitude. And I am one of those people. If I have to admit that I've made stupid mistakes and expose the reasons behind them in order for you to understand that I can relate to what you are going through, and honestly acknowledge that there are solutions, then so be it. I'm willing to set aside pride so that you can be encouraged. And I do it not to change people's hearts about me, I do it because I do care about your life! No matter what you may be going through, your life is not hopeless. Things can change for the better. But you must take the first step by approaching someone you feel you can trust and open up to that person. No one in this world can read your thoughts. Don't assume that anyone knows what is going in your mind and heart. You have to express your thoughts and feelings to the best of your ability for anyone to begin to understand you. If you keep things bottled up inside you without seeking help to resolve matters - problems won't go away, things won't improve, more mistakes and bad decisions will most likely be made, and the consequences will be a living nightmare. And if you can't or don't want to speak to your immediate family, then speak to a teacher or a respectable adult. Don't make the same mistake I did by not seeking help at all. I don't want you going down the same destructive path as I went down. Prison life is not a glorious life. It is pure hell. We are often treated like wild dangerous animals. We have no-free choices in prison. We are told what to do from morning to night everyday. Grown men in prison are hanging themselves because they cannot deal with the mistreatment and loneliness. And the feeling of hopelessness. While I have been in prison, I've lost my grandparents who raised me. I've lost my only son, who was just a teenager when he died. I've lost a brother. And I was not even allowed to attend their funerals to say goodbye. Everything that I once knew decades ago is now gone! To every young person who is reading this, please listen to me - the best life for you is a free life. You can turn your life around if you simply try. And I beg you to try because you are worth it. I care! If no-one else seems to care, I'm letting you know that I do. And I am sure others do too. I care about you enough to not want to see you throw your life away. But you have to look in the mirror and love the person you see enough to make the decision to make something good out of your life. It is not too late for you." Much respect and much love, Anthony Mungin 288322

Union Correctional Institution

P52212SPO box

1000 Raiford Florida

32083 USA

This letter was first published in 2013 on www.save-anthony.com

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