Friends of Guy Zappulla,
Clemency. The word has been tossed around so frequently, its definition has lost the heartfelt message it was meant to convey. I think it’s just and proper to begin this petition by narrating its definition, which is: an act or instance of mercy, compassion, or forgiveness.
Therefore, with the definition firmly in hand, I have to address the countless people who are supporting me, and narrate that they hope I “win.” The truth is, there are no winners in this. There are only destroyed families, countless ruined lives, and a prematurely displaced soul. Now we are all brought together in my bid to once again be free. Therefore, before addressing the Governor with my plea for clemency, I have to first thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. As without realizing it, by your show of support, I have already received clemency from each of you.
I am now humbly asking you to sign this petition that is going to forwarded to the Honorable Governor of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, in the hopes he will grant my early parole by way of commuting my sentence after I have already served twenty-two years of my twenty-five year to life sentence.
Honorable Governor Andrew M. Cuomo,
Guy should be granted clemency, and released before his scheduled parole date because he has served his time in prison as a model inmate by maintaining an exemplary institutional record, and is a much different person today than he was twenty-two years ago. Guy was also a much healthier person than he is now, after receiving multiple surgeries during his incarceration. Guy now has greatly diminished mobility, and suffers from asthma, hypertension, and is prediabetic with a compromised immune system. Guy is also a heavy smoker. Coupled with his advanced age, these underlying conditions make the Coronavirus a serious concern. Concerns are an understatement. The truth is these medical conditions make Guy a poster child for the face of a virus fatality.
During Guy’s twenty-two years of incarceration, his achievements beyond the prison walls are numerous. Guy has proudly received an undergraduate certificate in criminal justice with a 4.0 GPA. Since then, Guy has been enrolled in Ohio University where he is currently in the process of successfully completing his first year. And he’s since signed up to continue his studies in law and environmental science. Guy has not received, nor has ever applied for any grants or student loans, and is paying for his education out-of-pocket.
Friends of Guy have to highlight his most notable achievement outside of prison, and one which many of you are familiar with, ZapTales.com, which was created by a frustrated inmate who was unable to donate even a meager donation after watching a St. Jude’s commercial. Guy overcame this obstacle and began making donations after creating a series of prison-related short stories. Then, at an enormous personal and emotional expense, Guy spent several years writing a book—for the sole purpose of helping cancer-stricken and autistic children.
For those of you that are not familiar with ZapTales.com, for the past several years, along with donating funds generated through book sales to children’s charities, Guy has also donated funds to countless charities not listed on his website, ranging from animals, cancer survivors, our fallen warriors, and many more.
Guy has volunteered his time and participated in Atticas Youth Assistance Program (YAP) helping juveniles find a path to a positive lifestyle with the ultimate goal of never entering the prison system. Guy has consistently been a positive role model and mentor to new inmates entering the general population as an orientation facilitator by assisting new inmates on how to navigate the prison system positively.
Guy positively completed every therapeutic program offered to him by DOCCS, which includes: Atticas alternative to violence program run by veterans, Aggression Replacement Training (ART), Alcohol Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT), and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Then Guy proactively enrolled in Prison Aids Counseling Education (PACE) and received 8 of 9 certificates to gain a better understanding of the science of disease.
The friends of Guy ask that you please sign this petition in support of the Governor’s decision to grant Guy Zappulla clemency and allow his release as soon as possible. We ask for a detailed and compassionate review of his institutional record and clemency application.
The idea of Guy having to serve several more years during this pandemic, and the possibility of succumbing to this horrible virus is all too real, and remaining in prison could now very well be a death sentence.
Please allow Guy an opportunity to gain his freedom, so he can once again be with his wife and family while having a chance to put all his newly gained attributes to use and reenter society to become a productive citizen that he has tirelessly prepared himself for. Please grant his request so that he may once again become a member of our society and remain at liberty while continuing his educational goals.