Amplified Voices

Greg Mingo: Seeing the World Through More than One Pair of Eyes - Season 5 Episode 2

March 31, 2024 Amber & Jason - Criminal Legal Reform Advocates with Lived Experience Season 5 Episode 2
Amplified Voices
Greg Mingo: Seeing the World Through More than One Pair of Eyes - Season 5 Episode 2
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Life can twist and turn in unexpected ways, as Greg Mingo, a Harlem native, profoundly understands. His story, one of resilience amidst the vibrant yet challenging streets of New York, unfolds as he shares the gravity of his choices and the socioeconomic forces that impacted his life. Our latest episode invites you into an intimate conversation with Mingo, revealing the stark realities youth face, navigating through a world that's often pitted against them, and the consequences that follow.

From a life-altering injury to a wrongful conviction that led to decades of imprisonment, Mingo's personal trials are a testament to the human spirit's capacity for endurance and transformation. His journey through the criminal justice system exposes battles of a legal case that captivated media attention. Yet, amid the harshness of incarceration, Mingo's will to educate himself, advocate for others, and his ultimate triumph in securing clemency with the help of a high profile campaign (#FreeGregMingo), illuminates a path of redemption and action that continues to inspire at 69 years old.

In an age where second chances can be scarce, Mingo's advocacy work shines a beacon on the importance of reform and empathy within the legal system. He shares with listeners the value of the 'clemency collective', a group dedicated to system reform, and invites us all to engage with the transformative potential of individuals having an opportunity to redefine their lives.  Join Amber, Jason and Mingo on Amplified Voices  Mingo's continues to uplift his voice - a rallying cry for change, hope, and understanding.


About Greg Mingo:
Greg Mingo is a clemency grantee who spent over 40 years in prison following a wrongful conviction. He was released in September 2021. Greg has taught the law, communications, domestic violence, and fatherhood.  He is an ambassador for the innocent project. He is a community leader for Releasing Aging People in Prison (RAPP) advocating for parole reform.  He also works with CUNY Law School on clemency, resentencing and parole issues. He co-founded the Clemency Collective to advocate for the granting of clemency on a rolling basis. He is a consultant for In Arm’s Reach a foundation that tutors and mentors the children of incarcerated parents.  Additionally, Greg works with Hudson Link for higher education in prison, volunteering his time to build transitional housing for men and women returning home. Change.org has recognized Greg as one of the top change makers in 2021 and again in 2022. In January, Greg was honored with a proclamation from the New York State Senate for his work to improve opportunities for the wrongly convicted and those who deserve a second chance. Greg is an advocate for social, racial, and criminal justice reform, and so much more.


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Intro Speaker:

Everyone has a voice, a story to tell. Some are marginalized and muted. What if there were a way to amplify those stories, to have conversations with real people in real communities, a way to help them step into the power of their lived experience? Welcome to Amplified Voices, a podcast lifting the experiences of people and families impacted by the criminal legal system. Together, we can create positive change for everyone.

Jason:

Hello and welcome to another episode of Amplified Voices. I'm your host, Jason, here with my co-host, Amber. Good morning, Amber.

Amber:

Good morning Jason.

Jason:

And Amber. Today we have Greg Mingo. He goes by Mingo. Good morning Mingo.

Mingo:

Good morning Jason, good morning Amber.

Amber:

Good morning Mingo. We're so excited to have you here today.

Mingo:

I'm excited to be here.

Jason:

That's fantastic, and, mingo, please tell us a little bit about your life before you entered the criminal legal system and what brought you into it.

Mingo:

Well, I grew up in Harlem, new York City, and one of five children from a single parent, and you know my life was just like any other kid at that point. You know, I grew up with the Catholic school for the first eight years, then I went to public school, high school to finish, and then, you know, when you live in that type of environment like Harlem and Brooklyn and the Bronx and Queens, it's a whole different kind of culture outside of what we call normal society. And so from there, you know, I didn't really get any real trouble. But the fast life draws you it's very seductive, you know, as opposed to just people having habits, about a drug habit or this habit or that habit, you know the lifestyle becomes a habit. So I was involved in it.

Jason:

What age are we talking about?

Mingo:

In my teens. You know we're talking about possibly 17, 18 years old.

Jason:

So you're a kid in Harlem, you're going to school. Were you in a sport? Did you have any activities? Was life at home fairly normal? Did you have older brothers, sisters?

Mingo:

Yeah, life was fairly normal. I have two older brothers, I have a younger sister and a younger brother, so it was five of us. I'm the middle child and you know, I just went through life every day like you know what you can do and it was. You know, I didn't have any real issues at home. My mother worked two jobs so to provide for us cause she refused to accept public assistance. So she was, you know, she did whatever she had to do. What were her jobs? She worked in a board of education, right. She worked there for a number of years and unfortunately, in 1985, while I was incarcerated she passed. Oh, I'm so sorry.

Mingo:

Yeah, but you know I still keep in touch with her. So every year of passing I write her a letter and so my sister has her ashes. She was cremated. So every year I write her a letter and I send it to my sister and have her burn the letter and take the ashes and mix it with my mother's ashes. So that was my own personal way of, you know, being close to her and being able to talk to her.

Amber:

Yeah, that's beautiful. So, mango, I want to go back just a little bit. You mentioned the fast life and I feel like the fast life might mean different things to different people. So, could you clarify a little bit about what you meant about that?

Mingo:

Well, growing up I was around a lot of things. So I eventually grew up and I got into the marijuana game and I was selling marijuana. And then there came a point in time where I got a job. I worked a number of jobs. I worked in a dry cleaning store and eventually I worked at New Human Services Institute and that was affiliated with Queens College and paraprofessional work. So I did that up until the point where I went into the criminal justice system. So I've had good jobs and I just got drawn into that lifestyle, as most kids do in that environment, because you see you could earn a lot more money doing that than you could in a regular job. So I sold marijuana for a good portion of my life as a side job in addition to working. I always maintained the job but I had a side hustle of selling marijuana.

Jason:

So what years were you? I mean, how old were you? You know, from what age to what age were you selling?

Mingo:

I'd say from about, I'd say from about 17 years old, you know, 17, 18,. I started Then after I was finished with school and everything else. You know I took on jobs but I didn't give up the marijuana business. It was to me, it was safe, it wasn't as violent and it didn't have all the other things that come with other things like selling heroin or cocaine. You know, I looked at it as being relatively a safe hustle and everybody Now it's sort of a legal hustle.

Amber:

So you know the perceptions about different different things change over time. Time Yep.

Jason:

So, so, yeah, so you're. So you're you. You were going to high, you went to high school, you did, you did. Okay, it sounds like you were. You got these legitimate jobs and then you had this side hustle where you're actually making money and it feels pretty good 17 year old bringing in a little cash doing something that everybody around you is doing, Right? So then what happens at that point?

Mingo:

So I kept doing that and I maintained the job. I went out and this was living by. Then there came a point in time where I decided I wanted to move out on my own, and I did. And I did that. When I was about 18 years old, I went and got my own place, a little furnished room. I wanted my own independence.

Jason:

How far from home.

Mingo:

It wasn't that far. I grew up on like 114th Street and so my first place was like 106th Street, so it really wasn't that far.

Amber:

So if I wanted to stop by and to be honest, this was a while ago, right Like. So what year are we talking?

Mingo:

Yeah, we talking about. Let me see, I was born in 1952. So we talking about in the 70s, early like 1970, somewhere right around there. Yeah, and I continued, and you know I had a pretty successful life. I had a car, I had my own place, and then it came a point in time where I decided, as years passed, that I wanted to change the scenery. So I moved out to Queens and I was living out there, and that's where the case is from. Actually it happened, it occurred in Queens County and so I just, you know, went about my normal life, you know, going out, hanging out on the weekends, having fun, you know, just trying to live what I thought was the right kind of lifestyle. You know, I wasn't into a whole lot of violence or, you know, carrying guns or weapons. I didn't feel like I needed it and I thought what I was doing was relatively safe. So I moved out to Queens, I stayed there for a while and so I decided I had enough of Queens and I came back to the city and moved back to Queens and came a point in time where I was arrested, actually in Manhattan, and taken back to Queens. But I had what I call a fairly good lifestyle.

Mingo:

I was pretty smart. I was always pretty smart in school, in fact. I attended Fordham University when I was in the seventh grade taking college classes. So two days a week I used to get released from school early and travel up to Fordham University and take college classes. Then, during the summer, I used to attend summer school, not because I was failing, but they had these special programs where I could take high school courses while I was still in grammar school. So special programs where I could take high school courses while I was still in grammar school. So during the summer I took high school courses. During the semester I took college courses.

Jason:

That's wild, Did you? I mean, did you enjoy them?

Mingo:

Yeah yeah. I maintained a 90-something average throughout school, so I was a pretty smart kid.

Amber:

And so what was driving that? Is it just something that you wanted to do? Was education really valued in your family? What sort of drove that participation in those extra things?

Mingo:

I don't think it was so much valued in my family, but I've always been drawn to education. I think education is important because it helps you see life out of more than one pair of eyes. You know, if you can grow up in an environment and you've never went anywhere, done anything, that's what you know, that's to you, that's your, that is the world, and so Boys been drawn to it, you know, and you know give you a different perspective. So I've always been big on education and life itself is an education. Every day is a learning experience, you know. So it's helpful if you can learn something every day of your life, because that's all life is, it's lessons. So can learn something every day of your life because that's all life is.

Jason:

It's lessons. So you were 18 years old. You'd already had this experience. You'd seen the college campus life a little bit while you were young and you moved on your own. You're independent, you're selling marijuana on the side, in your side hustle, and you get arrested for marijuana, or is it something else?

Mingo:

No, actually I was arrested. I got arrested back in 1972, and I was sent to Rikers Island and back then Rikers Island was a mess. Back then, back then.

Amber:

Yeah well, it was a mess.

Mingo:

It's still, but I know, but I'm just saying it hasn't changed in a lot of years. It was a lot more, you know. So I spent some time there and the lawyer came, you know, and back then you wanted, I wanted out, because that was my first experience. So I was there for a few months and so I was approached with the idea that I take a plea. I could be released. So I said, okay, I'll take the plea. And I took a plea and for conditional discharge, but there was things attached to it and so when I go back to court and I take the plea, they tell me, oh well, it's a conditional discharge on the conditions, you leave the country for a year.

Amber:

I'm sorry what.

Mingo:

Part of the plea deal which I didn't know initially when I took the plea was that I would plead they would give me that sentence would be a conditional discharge, and part of the conditional discharge was that I had to leave the country for a year.

Jason:

Amber, have you ever heard of this before?

Amber:

I mean I don't think I have. I mean I am. I used to get surprised, but I don't really. Well, maybe I obviously was surprised, but where? What was the expectation of where you were going to go? Or I guess they didn't care.

Mingo:

As long as I left the country for a year. Right, that was the conditions.

Jason:

So was there? I'm sorry, Mingo, was there a? Was there a racial element to this? Was this a white judge? I mean, what was?

Mingo:

it was. It was a white judge, but back then I don't think I was savvy enough to fully grasp and see if there was racial elements to it. I had, you know, I thought it was just a normal course of business and so I could have went anywhere in the country, anywhere outside of the country, but I had to leave the country for one year, and if I stayed away a year I could come back in a year and then they would reduce the charge. Everything would kind of like go away. So I agreed to it. But the stipulation was this they didn't release me. My family had to go, bring my luggage and my plane ticket to the courthouse.

Mingo:

I got released from the courthouse, I had to go straight to the airport and bought a plane, and so that's what I did. So I went down to Jamaica because my family knew some people there, some cousins or something. So I went down to Jamaica and I stayed there and, honestly, I got down there. Back then there was no TV. I stayed there and, honestly, I got down there. Back then there was no TV. No, tv just came out. It was one channel and it came on at 530 and it went off like 830.

Jason:

Amber, you have a question.

Amber:

Yeah. So I'm sorry, I'm just feeling so confused, so there were no immigration issues. You were a citizen of the united states of america exactly and you took a plea deal and they said please leave our country for a year, and then we'll talk about it right okay, I I'm sorry.

Mingo:

I I thought I didn't get surprised, but here we are, so thank you for clarifying and you, you know, as years later on went on, you know, I didn't think about it at the time. I just wanted it out of Rikers Island, so I agreed to it and I actually left the country. I went down to Jamaica and I got there. Like I said, it was nothing to do, so I stayed in the house with some people and they worked all day long. So the only person was there was the maid, if you want to call it, or somebody who came in, did the laundry, cleaned the house, and it was nowhere for me to go. I didn't have a car, so I needed a car to get anywhere. So I basically just sat around and I was bored out of my mind. And so it came. I had an open ticket. That meant that the ticket was good.

Jason:

So, mingo, does Jamaica have any marijuana?

Mingo:

I don't know. I wasn't in an area where I needed a car to go anywhere. I didn't know anybody, so I had no connections out there.

Amber:

So you know so also to paint the picture. This is know. There's one tv. This is pre-internet, right yeah, so you don't have a cell phone to like engage in, like your own exploration on youtube, to learn some new things you know, whatever, you're just there.

Mingo:

I'm just there.

Amber:

Exiled. I mean, maybe I'm being dramatic, but I just can't get over it, that's why he's still a kid.

Jason:

He's still a child.

Amber:

Yeah, ok, so please go ahead.

Mingo:

So I stayed, so I was bored out of my mind. So it came a point and I said you know what I said I can't deal with this for a year. So I thought I said I'm coming back to the United States. So I called, I made reservations to come back because I had an open ticket and the ticket was good up for a year. So I made reservations and I called my family, I said listen, this is what's going on. And then I told them what I was going to do. And then I got off the phone and I hung up and I took the phone off the hook so they couldn't call me back to try to convince me not to come back. So I had the people take me to the airport. So when I get to the airport, come back. And I came back and I went home and I figured if I stayed out of trouble you know kind of like lived under the radar for the next year, I would be fine. And that's what happened.

Jason:

So I came back.

Mingo:

Okay, yeah. So I came back and actually it was only out there about two weeks and I came back and then, you know, after the year was up, I figured I was fine and I just kept moved on with my life, right, got myself back in this, you know, got a job, got back in my side hustle, you know, found me a place to stay in the whole nine yards and honestly, I had never heard of it either. And years later I challenged it in court because banishment is not a penal law penalty. I'm a United States citizen. There's no grounds for them to tell me I had to leave the country. So I went back to court, I challenged it. The judge said he believed everything I said but unfortunately he was denying my motion. And I wrote to the consulate, I wrote to the airlines, I wrote to everybody trying to obtain documents from back then to establish my case and unfortunately it was hard to find documents back from 1972.

Mingo:

Right, so I kind of let it go, and at that point I just went on about my life. I didn't give it a second thought, and so in 1981, my worst nightmare came true.

Jason:

So now, now, if you were, it's 10 years later, so you're like 28, 29?

Mingo:

28.

Jason:

Okay, I'm 28 years old, all right, so 28, you never and you survived, like you were never drafted for vietnam. That those years came and went. It's now the 80s, everybody's got big hair and well okay, let me explain about the drafting.

Mingo:

Back then everybody was required to register for the draft. You had to get a draft card the whole nine yards. And actually my brother got drafted into the service, into the Army. They sent him the token years ago they send you a token to take the train and report down and so they drafted him and he went into the service. I went in, I applied, and so they drafted him and he went into the service. I went and I applied and no, not then I didn't apply. But years later, when I went to do something, they asked me why hadn't I applied for the draft? And so I told them because at the time I had a finger amputated and I had trouble and the amputation was a funny thing. I lost my ring finger on my right hand. And it was a story where I was in the neighborhood and some young kid asked me his ball was stuck up on the fence. He said, mister, could you get my ball? So I climbed up the fence, got the ball a little small ball and as I was coming down I was maybe two feet off the ground and I jumped down and my ring caught onto the fence and it took my finger off, so so you jumped down, but the finger didn't well, the thing the finger came down as well with what it was is the gold ring, and the ring cut into my finger

Mingo:

and took it off. My body weight whatever they attached to my body weight forced it. But actually I hadn't even felt it. And then my friend said oh shit, look. And when I looked and I saw it was gone, it was actually on the floor. That's when the pain came. And then the young kid he saw it, he screamed and he ran and took off and left his ball. So I picked up the finger and I ran to the hospital. They told me they couldn't reattach it, so they took the part that came off and took the skin and tried to graft it back on. That didn't work out. So then they eventually cut it off again and took the skin graft and tried to graft it back onto my hand, and then that didn't work out. So then they just took the whole thing out. They took the knuckle, they took the bone out and everything all the way down to my wrist. But you wouldn't even know, most people don't even know. You can't tell.

Amber:

Yeah, see, okay, yeah, so mingo is holding up his hand.

Jason:

He's got, uh, a missing finger, but it looks like a totally normal hand otherwise. Yeah, all right so so let's go back. So now here we are you're 28, 29 years, it's the 1980s and you's going to happen big.

Mingo:

Right. So I was in the city and actually I stopped by to visit my mother because she was living still in Harlem, and I stopped by to see her and somehow I was there and I was waiting for somebody to call me and the phone rings and I pick up the phone and they say hello, mingo. I said yeah. They said look, you don't know me. The police is on the way up to the house. Get out of the house and hung up the phone. So I'm like what is going on? But so a short time later the door knocks, officer comes to my mother, says who is it? Says the police, says we're looking for your son. His girlfriend got hit by a hit and run driver. She's in the hospital. She's asking for him and here's our card, you know, and they leave. So my mother's like well, he doesn't live here. She leaves. So she tells me. So she calls the precinct. The card calls the precinct and she's told that oh yeah, the officers are legit and we're looking for your son for two homicides and that the police is outside the building and we know he in the apartment and the police is on their way over from Queens to pick him up. So I'm like what.

Mingo:

So at that point they came, they knocked on the door, young lady that was with me. She opened the door. Cops came in. They said which one of y'all is? Greg Mingo. Nobody answered and the cop said let me see your hands. Oh so, and you know.

Mingo:

At that point I said I am, and they took me and they arrested me. They transported me to Queens, they booked me, told me what I was charged with, said you know, tried to talk to me. I said there's nothing to talk about. I don't know what you're talking about. And so at that point I was arrested, I was taken to a court, locked up, no bail, and I was transported to Rockers Island. And so I'm there.

Mingo:

At that point I'm trying to figure things out. I hired an attorney and he told me some ridiculous stuff. So I fired him on the spot. So I fired him on the spot and he told me a situation where he said look, I don't want to talk in the bullpen with other clients, so I want you to have your friend number of them.

Mingo:

And at that point I had another court appearance and so a lawyer came and said I've been assigned to represent you. We're going to start trial Monday. I said how are you going to start trial Monday that's a week from today Charged with a double homicide? You're not coming to visit me on Rikers Island, you know nothing about the case. How can you do it? He says well, I can do it.

Mingo:

So at that point went out, I was able to hire another lawyer. Lawyer comes, shows up the following Monday, says I've been retained by the defendant to represent him, and the judge says you can represent Mr Mingo at trial starts tomorrow. He said John, I haven't even spoken to the client. She said take it or leave it. So the case was adjourned. And at that point, when they called me back for the next court date, the lawyer who I had retained was on trial in some other cases. So I tried to get a one week adjournment. They said nope, you're not adjourning it, you're going to trial, you're going to use this court appointed attorney.

Mingo:

So I went to trial. I went to trial and I ended up with a mistrial. I ended up with a mistrial. The jury was deadlocked at 11 to 1. The judge instructed the jury not to say which way they were going, but it had to have been in my favor because there was no evidence in the case and basically it came down to a guy who was arrested for shooting his girlfriend in the head and had been on the run. They arrested him and he, when he got arrested, he said look, I have some information. These guys told me that they did this crime. And then somebody else came and said one person said that my co-defendant, who died while he was in prison, told him that we committed the crime, and somebody else said that I told them.

Jason:

Got it, got it. So Amber was trying to ask a question, so let's give her a second.

Amber:

Yeah. So I just want to. First of all, I want to acknowledge that that is a lot to happen, right, and then I just have a couple of clarifying questions. So the first thing that really struck me when you were sort of revealing what happened was this idea that law enforcement came to your home and said your girlfriend's been hit by hit and run and you're living in a culture and an environment where you have to check out to make sure that question law enforcement. If they came and said somebody that you love has been struck by a hit and run, you need to come down to the station. So so I think that's pretty significant.

Mingo:

The other go ahead no, I was just going to say one of the reasons why it was some distrust, because when the detectives showed up and my mother gave them the name of the so-called girlfriend and they said, yeah, but that wasn't the girlfriend's name. So it raises, like you know, of course, yes, you know like what's going on here.

Amber:

You know, like what's going on here, Right, but I mean this just points to the fact that there is some mistrust, there's some abuse of power in communities. There are, you know, a lot of things going on where law enforcement is creating a situation where people do not trust them, and that exists in some communities and not others, and that makes me very sad. So I just wanted to point that out. The other you know sort of thing that, of course, is striking is this rushing of the process, which seems like, you know, trying to push things through and get to a trial so fast that there is no time for any real discussion or developing of a case and things like that. So you know, that seemed pretty significant for me. Jason, you have some questions or thoughts?

Jason:

Well, I just wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to talk. I want to move the story forward, though. So it sounds like in this particular case, bingo, there was no conviction because they cleared you. There was this mistrial. Was there another trial, or were you?

Mingo:

done at that point. So basically, at that point they declared a mistrial and they subsequently retried me. They declared a mistrial and they subsequently retried me and on the retrial I was convicted and basically gave them an opportunity to correct whatever. They couldn't get done the first time, the second time. So I go to trial and there really was no evidence in the case. I didn't ever believe I was going to be convicted. I was offered plea deals. I turned them down. Both times I said I'm not pleading to anything because I hadn't ever believe I was going to be convicted. I was offered plea deals. I turned them down. Both times I said I'm not pleading to anything because I hadn't done anything. So I go to trial and I get convicted. Later on, when I come back to get sentenced, I'm thinking I'm facing a sentence of 25 to life. When I go back to get sentenced, the judge sentenced me to 50 to life. At that point you're 30.

Jason:

So 50, 50 to life, 50 years Now in New York at that time, what is 50 years to life mean? It means you have to do 50 years before you're eligible to see the parole board. So 50 plus about 28 is you're going to be do the math 78 years old before you are eligible for parole, which doesn't guarantee that you're going to get parole, so 78. So you're going to go from 28 to 78 incarcerated. So walk us through your feelings, walk us through what's happening and also your thoughts on how that could happen.

Mingo:

I was devastated, to say the least. When I went into the system, the first thing I did was I started going to the law library every day. Like I said, I was always smart, so I was able to adapt and learn a lot, and that's what I did. I spent my time on Rikers Island learning the law. I became what I thought was pretty good. I was filing pro se motions on my own bail applications, filed a motion In fact I filed a motion to prevent the retrial on double jeopardy grounds.

Mingo:

I was trying everything I could because I knew I was faced an uphill battle. I couldn't believe that I actually got convicted. You know, it just seemed like how could this happen? And then there came a point in time where somebody came to visit me. And when he came to visit me I asked him. I said you think I committed this crime? And he said well, I don't think you committed the crime, but maybe you know something about it, or you know who did it, or you have an idea who might have done it, and maybe you're not saying anything because you're hearing to the rule of don't snitch. So you know it bothered me greatly.

Mingo:

So after the visit I went back and I was laying on the bed and I was thinking how could he even think that? How could he even you know why would he hesitate and believe in what I said? And then I had to come to the realization, that perception, and I thought about. I said well, if my brother, who I would consider to be a square, because back then people worked and did the right thing and raised their family, was considered squares, if he had got arrested for what I did, the first things out of people's mouth probably would have been well, him, I can't believe that, it doesn't fit him. But when people heard that I got arrested, their response probably was oh, that's too bad. Big difference in responses. And that came up and people said, oh, that's too bad, big difference in responses. And that came up and people said, oh, that's too bad. Probably because people in the back of their minds realized and when you live in a fast life and live in that lifestyle, anything's possible, maybe you got caught up in something.

Amber:

Do you think that? Tell us a little bit about media attention to this. Do you think that there was any role that the media played in the case To a degree, because initially it wasn't.

Mingo:

And the whole time I went to trial, both trials, there was an article in the paper about me getting arrested. And then, when I went to trial and after I was convicted the second trial I went out to the courtroom for a verdict. The courtroom was packed and I was like where all these people come from. And as soon as they announced the verdict, courtroom emptied out and then I realized what it was. At the same time that I was on trial, they had some people on trial for a cop killing. They had some people on trial for a cop killing. So this whole media was in the courthouse. They had, I think, into my case and you know, like I said, the courtroom emptied out and the next morning was in the papers that I had been convicted and prior to that there was no media attention at all. So I think just by them being there for the other case, you know, spilled over the mind and that's what happened and it sounds like there was a little bit of a for that case.

Amber:

You know, spilled over the mine and that's what happened, and it sounds like there was a little bit of a for that case. There was a bit of a little bit of a racial focus on that.

Mingo:

Yeah Well, and what year? What year are we talking about? We talking about 1982.

Jason:

Okay, so just for context, you know we're New York city, this is. This is seven years or so before the Central Park Five case, but it's that same environment in New York that you're dealing with.

Mingo:

Yeah, Okay, and those cases I mentioned were high-profile cases because obviously it involved the death of police officers. Sure.

Mingo:

Right, and so from there I was transferred and I went upstate. I went to Sing Sing and I stayed and at that point my sister was living in the Bronx and so she moved up to Ossining so she could be close and make visitation easier. But then I was subsequently transferred and so she stayed there and raised her family and so, and then from that point I went. The first thing I did when I went upstate was I enrolled in college. It's the very first thing I started taking legal classes. They offered legal paralegal classes where you had to go six months, five nights a week, study 21 areas of the law. So I took it, I passed it and then I decided to take it again to make sure I had it down. So I took it again for another six months and passed that.

Mingo:

And then I worked in the prison system and I worked in a. I did a host of jobs. I've worked in a prison library. I've worked, started off as a facility painter. I was newspaper editor at Attica and Eastern Correctional Facility. I've worked in a prison law library. Primarily I worked in pre-release, and so the law library was my thing and I knew that was my only way out at that point.

Jason:

So, before you go too far so you've already mentioned Rikers, Sing, Sing, Attica. How often did your home for lack of a better word change, how often did you have to move where you laid your head at night?

Mingo:

Well, I spent a couple of years in Sing Sing, then from Sing Sing and about 85, I was sent to Attica. I stayed there a couple of years. Then from Attica I was transferred to Eastern. I stayed there three years. Then I was transferred back to Attica and I stayed there three years. Then I was transferred back to Attica and I stayed there three years. Then I was transferred to Green Haven and I stayed there 12 years. Then I was transferred to Palmyra. I stayed there six years and then I was transferred to Great Meadows and I stayed there until I was released.

Amber:

So how many years?

Mingo:

in total, did you end up? Serving how many?

Amber:

years in total did you end up serving?

Mingo:

40 years, one month and 21 days 40 years, one month and 21 days. 21 days, 21 days and how many minutes?

Jason:

I didn't count that.

Mingo:

But wow. But you know people may say, well damn, you have all that. So what did you do? Count the days. But no, actually I didn't count the days, but I made the days count. I tried to live my life in a way where it meant something, because you inside it's like out of sight, out of mind. You know it makes you feel like you really don't count, like cares, and for the most part that's how it felt. You know, the layers of your character get peeled away like you peel an onion and you go through this, these emotional roller coasters. You know these four walls, it's almost like they plant themselves within you and you become numb to certain things and you know just, you exist. You're not living, you're just existing.

Jason:

What changes did you notice over the years? Did things get better or worse, more crowded? I mean what?

Mingo:

The prison system got worse over the years, you know, and worse all the way around the board, from the food to the staff, the attitudes of staff, how people are treated and how we looked upon as the scum of the earth, so to speak. And it's difficult. There's a lot of violence in there. At times, in fact, the police promoted a lot of the violence and create situations for violence to happen. And is this an existence that, unless you really had to go through it, it's hard to really put into words, because it's something that you have to experience and that's something that you really don't want to experience? You know, if you ask people, a lot of people will say well, experience is the best teacher. But I disagree. I think good advice can be any better teacher because of things you don't want to experience and prison is at the top of the list.

Jason:

For sure.

Amber:

Did you find any sort of rays of light? People who showed compassion, people that you met, relationships that you built through the process?

Mingo:

Yeah, I've had a lot of good relationships with a lot of people. You know I had people. At that point I was still I consider myself, kind of young yet people have been in there and they kind of like advised you and pushed you you know we call them elders and they'll motivate you to keep your head up and keep pushing and keep fighting. And I think I honestly knew that I could have gotten out, but I was procedurally barred in the courts.

Mingo:

I don't know if you know what procedurally barred means. Essentially it means that all your claims are gone and you can't re-raise them and can't raise them in the court. So not only I had issues with the trial lawyer, but on appeal the lawyer raised claims that I previously litigated myself for saying the courts. And so if you watch TV, if you see on TV a lawyer says I object, your Honor. And if you don't object to something that occurs at trial, you can't raise it on appeal because it's not preserved for public review. Same way, if you do preserve your issues and you don't raise them on appeal, you waive them and they're gone forever. And too much control is given to your lawyers and they get to say and raise whatever issues they feel is appropriate and I subsequently procedurally barred. So I never really had an appeal to start with and I just kept fighting.

Jason:

Yes, a couple of questions Because I want to get to how you actually ultimately came home. But before we get there, I have a question for you, because this whole your case right now is one where you know you say this is, this was just a bad trial. You know it was it was and you were. You're talking about reasons that you, you know they, they convicted the wrong person, that sort of thing. Let's do a pretend. What if let's say you had been guilty of this crime, right? How do you think you'd feel about the sentence in that case? Do you think it would have been a fair sentence? In that case, the punishment you got was the right answer to that type of offense.

Mingo:

No, I think that you know the sentence that was handed down was way over the top and the judge that I was had both trials in front of was a racist, and I could say that because it's documented. Two or three months after I was sentenced there were two other defendants before this judge and while he was on the bench in the open court, they never caught the third suspect in that case and he told them I know there's another nigger in the woodpile and I want him out. Is that clear? Oh my God, this is what he said from the bench. So the media got hold of the story. They published it. Judges have to retire at the age of 70. But they allowed three two-year extensions. He was on the last year of his last extension. He was brought up on charges and from the Commission on Judicial Conduct and his defense was that when he used the N-word, it wasn't geared toward any people or groups of people. That was a metaphor that he used to describe a mystery.

Jason:

Well, that's gross. So let's take it to like how did you ultimately come home? What was involved in that?

Mingo:

well it had, from what everybody tells me had to do with who I am and what I did while I was inside. I taught classes inside. I taught domestic violence, fatherhood communications, positive thinking, basic advanced life skills you name it. I was doing it. I take everything that they had to offer, created a lot of these programs, in fact, the curriculum that they use to teach people the law so they can be law clerks, to work in the law library. I created the curriculum and I taught the law classes about the prisons, and so I kept working and doing that and you know I helped everybody that came to me.

Mingo:

I tried some sort of way to help them and I developed a reputation, a very good reputation, as somebody who, you know, knew what he was doing and wasn't going to, was going to do what he needed to do to help whoever he was helping. So I kept working and working, and working and there came a point in time where I filed a motion. I went to court in 2008. And the judge denied the motion for resentencing, arguing that my sentence was illegal, and the judge at that point recommended that I file for clemency based on the body of work that I've accomplished over the years. So after the hearing and I came back upstate, I did that. I filed the application. It was denied. It's 2008, 2009. It was denied, so I kind of like left it alone.

Mingo:

I kept working in the law library on my case and it came a point in time and somebody said well, try it again. I said nobody gets clemency. So in 2016, I filed another application. Then in 2017, the prison facility came to me and said that they were instructed by Albany to submit somebody's name for clemency and they decided on me. So I told them you can go ahead, but I don't have no faith in it and because nobody gets it. And he told me I shouldn't feel that way, and I said, why not? And they said, well, judith Clark got it. And I thought and I said, wow, they got a point. You know, judy Clark got it, I might have a shot. I don't know if you're familiar with Judy Clark and the Brinks-Armond-Carr robbery case.

Amber:

I'm sure that there's somebody who isn't.

Mingo:

So if you want to just summarize, supposed to have been part of this radical group I forget what particular group it was and it was a Brinks armored car robbery where two police officers died and one armored car driver died. A group of people were arrested and charged for the crime and they were given a sentence of 75 years to life. In, I think, 2016, 2015, 2016,. Somebody took on her case and applied for clemency and a governor reduced her sentence from 75 to life to 35 to life. That made her immediately eligible for parole. Eligible for release or for parole Right.

Amber:

Mingo, can I just ask a real quick clarifying question so that those who don't have a full understanding of clemency and what that is, could you just share what clemency is?

Mingo:

Right. You have clemency and under clemency there's two components they can grant you a pardon or they can grant you a sentence. Commutation Pardons are usually reserved for people who have been home for years and haven't re-offended. So say you had a case back 10, 15 years ago. You could apply to the governor's office for a pardon and they could give it to you, and it wipes away your record. They could do it in any situation. The government, the governor, has unchallenged power.

Amber:

And this is in New York, because every state is different.

Mingo:

Yes, Right, it can't be challenged, it's under the Constitution of the state of New York and so but they really grant anybody that's in prison pardons say, give them sentence commutations. That's in prison pardon, say, give them sentence commutations. So, like I said, in 2017, the prison put me in for it. Then 18, 19, 20 came, and then I had been following the process and I noticed that there was this clinic law clinic CUNY Law School, Second Look Project.

Jason:

Hang on, mango. Before you, you just said something that really triggered something for me, so you put this in in 2016, 17, 18, 19,. You said that very quickly. Those are years, right, and so I think part of what happens when you're incarcerated or or involved in the criminal legal system in any way years just go by, and you made a comment earlier, you can't get time back, and so it's like 16, 17, 18, you just clicked off a few years, like people had, people got married in those years, people had babies, people passed away in those years. All sorts of things happened in those years that, in the legal system, was a blip, but for you, you know, or for the real, for real time was a long, was lifetime. So so now it's what year? Is it? 2018,?

Mingo:

2020, 2020, 2020.

Jason:

2020.

Mingo:

Okay, All right. So I wrote to this law clinic and I noticed that the people who had gotten clemencies, that they represented most of them and they had a high use success rate. So I wrote to the clinic. They wrote me back saying you know, there's no guarantee we can take your case. You know, stand it, you know. So I took what I submitted to the governor's office and I sent it to them and they were impressed by what I sent. So they agreed to take the case. So they signed.

Mingo:

What they do is they operate with no funding. They use the law students. So every semester they get 30 students in this particular class and they assign two students to each person whose case they're going to take on, which allows them to take on 15 clemency applications, and they submit it. They do a package, put together a package and they submit it to the government's office. And that's what happened In my case. They assigned two students to me. They came and visited me and we was putting in the clemency.

Mingo:

In the meantime, my niece and her friends decided that they was trying to get letters on my behalf in support of it. So her and her friends decided they want to do more than write letters. So they started a social media campaign on changeorg. They created a petition and the goal was to get a thousand signatures and we started, we got the thousand, then it kept growing and it got to 3,000. Then a couple of days later it was at ten thousand. Then the company changed out, all got involved and because it had taken off so fast, and they decided that they wanted to be involved and they created a tv commercial and so I happened to be in, you know inside, and one day somebody says, calls me and says yo, you're on TV. I was like, yeah, okay, you know, like it was a joke.

Jason:

Is it before or after George Floyd?

Mingo:

This is right around that time. So the climate, the atmosphere, and so I cut the TV on and I saw the commercial and it like blew me away. And then they created a billboard, a moving, a billboard ad on a truck right when they had people speaking about me and things like that, and then. So then the petition started increasing and growing and growing and then we got to 50,000. Then we had 100,000. And we wound up having 145,000 people signed the petition to release me. Then I was fortunate enough I had-.

Jason:

Did you know? Did you know?

Mingo:

Did I know?

Jason:

Yeah. Did you know that there were all these signatures at this point? I mean, did you have access to what was going on or were you? Did people have to tell you?

Mingo:

I mean, yeah, I was kept informed by phone calls, you know, like when I call they would tell me listen, we got this many signatures, we got this, we got that, and it kind of raises your hopes Now you starting to feel better, like I might have a chance, you know, because hope is. Hope is the only thing you cling to inside. You know you. Hope is the only thing you cling to inside. You know.

Jason:

You hope this happens you hope that happens and I think Like, oh, people are paying attention to me, Like this could actually happen.

Mingo:

And I think what spurred it because I had discussions with them while we strategized and how to go about this I think we came to the conclusion at least I did it in the beginning is that you know you're knocking on all these doors. You're At least I did it in the beginning is that you know you knocking on all these doors, you trying this, you trying that, nothing's working. And so I came to a point in the realization where I realized that the doors weren't open.

Amber:

So I had to build my own door Right.

Mingo:

So that's what we did through the social media campaign was to build our own door, and it took off. You know, a lot of people got involved, a lot of people supported my case after they found out the facts of the case and everything, and I had this huge outpouring of support and it was just surreal, you know, because for 40 years I've been trying to get help and I couldn't get any. It felt surreal but it was real, yeah, and it's that.

Amber:

What I'm hearing is you had some core people who really cared about you. That that started to to organize and bring this together.

Mingo:

Yeah yeah, and then you know it, I had some student, like one student that came in. He's a movie producer, he was being interviewed about him and his act as being nominated for an Academy Award and he wore a free Greg Mingo T-shirt. Gayle King was interviewing him and that got a lot of airplay and you know it was just. All. This attention came right about my case and about my cause and you know it raised up my hope. Are there still?

Jason:

free Mingo shirts that are available for sale.

Mingo:

No, we still have some, but we stopped selling them. So you know, you had people at rallies wearing the shirts. You had people at rallies holding up the signs. If you go to Google and just type in Greg Mingo, all of that pops up. You can watch the videos, the commercial, everything, and so that took off and you know I thanked everybody.

Mingo:

But everybody tells me, you know, this happened because of who you are, what you're able to accomplish while you was inside, but it couldn't have been possible without the help from everybody you know cause I don't know 145,000 people. So to have that number and I think that's what spurred changeorg to get involved because of so many people started joining in the cause. And then on August in August of 2021, you know Cuomo had been involved around in that scandal and so he had gave his farewell speech you know all nine yards and he had granted some clemencies and I wasn't in the group and he had like a week left in office and then, out of you know, my team made a last minute push. Uh, so he had some people contact some people and they pushed for that last two weeks. They gave a real strong push and on the last day in office. He granted it and ordered me release.

Jason:

And how soon, I mean, did you know?

Mingo:

You only found out after he did that you didn't know it was coming basically no, I didn't know it was coming. A couple of people knew it was coming, I think people like Amy Schumer, skyshaka King. They knew they were told, but they were told that they couldn't say anything because it wasn't publicly announced. My family didn't know and so I called home one day and my sister was acting real strange. I was like you all right, she was like you know, she was being very evasive and said you know stuff, like you got something you want to tell me. And I'm like I don't know nothing I want to tell you. And then she said you got clemency. And I was like I got clemency. She said I've been here and I said where'd you get that from? She said well, somebody told me. I said well, who told you? So in my mind it was just like nah, she's just wishful thinking, you know. And so we got off the phone.

Mingo:

Then later on that evening I was at work in the law library and a lieutenant came in and looking around and he went to the officer and he pointed to me. He came to me and he said you step outside. So we went in the hallway. He had a stern face on. So I said this can't be good. So he tells me he says are you nervous? I said not particularly. He said take off your mask. And then he went in his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. So I'm like what's going on here? And then he started reading it and saying that I was granted clemency and I'd be released next month, one day next month.

Mingo:

Blah, blah, blah. And I was passed out and he told me. He said you don't look good, lean against the wall. So I did and I asked him to read it again. And he read it again and I asked him if it was real and he said it's real. And he took me to the bathroom, told me, put put water on my face and he walked me back to the law library. Someone I went inside officer said to me he says mingo, what did you do? I said nothing and I just went and sat down and I sat there the whole night. They said I just sat there, it was time to go.

Mingo:

I left, I went back locked in and I still didn't believe it you know, and I'm sitting in there, but I couldn't sleep and I'm saying but what if it's true? And then in the morning somebody called me again and said yo, you're on tv, you're on tv. And I put the tv on and I saw it was on tv and at that point I said it is real. I said, because they can't take the joke that far. And you know, and it just just, it just broke me down and how, and so that was 2021.

Jason:

How old were you in 2021? 2021, I was 69 69 years, so you're a 60, so you went in, you went into the system at 28, 29, 29, and you came out at 69. Yeah, and you're sitting there and you accomplished some great things while you incarcerated and now you got this and the month that you had between when you found out and when you left. What was time like? Was it fast or slow?

Mingo:

It was real slow, everything slow everything. Drug was slow, you know, as the whole jail knew about it, you know. So everybody was congratulating me and you know, everything just dragged on. But I tried to keep a normal routine that I had fact. They will pull me up and why are you going to the yard? You know stuff is always happening out there. You shouldn't be going out. And you know, and I said well, you know, I can't stop living my life. You know I've been living all these years.

Mingo:

So and it just dragged on and dragged on. It was hard to sleep at that point because you know so many things that run into your head. And a couple of days before I was to be well, about five days before I was to be released, I had a friend inside. But let me go back and say this before I continue as dad, the best day in prison is the last one for anybody. But it's followed by a question what do I do with the rest of my life? Yeah, so that's my question. What do I do with the rest of my life?

Jason:

Yeah, so that's my question what is your life like now? What are you doing now? Because now it's a few years later.

Mingo:

Yeah. So what impacted me is that, like I said, five days before I came home, I had a friend I knew who came in when he was 16. He had been inside 45 years at that point and he died and I was very, we was very close to each other and that helped me decide that it that it that that excuse me for a minute that helped me decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life.

Mingo:

So when I came home, I decided I was going to be a voice for the voices. I was going to help people that were in my situation have a chance to have their life back. And so that's what I did. And when I came home, rap I was talking with Dave, george and Jose from RAP and they asked me to stay in touch. And then I contacted them and started working with them, because I believed in what they were promoting, which was the bills.

Jason:

So RAP's a New York organization. Yeah, We've had a couple of guests on Amplified Voices in the past from RAP Teresa and Melissa, so you're our third right. So we're very glad to have you and to be able to elevate some of the work that that great organization is doing in New York.

Amber:

Thanks to.

Jason:

Amber for bringing all of that to us.

Amber:

So I want to just take one quick pause before we move on to honor the people that are still incarcerated and your friend that you lost. I want to just take one minute to do that and just put in perspective everything that it took and it should not have been necessary for someone to get 145,000 signatures to, you know, have a law clinic that was working on the clemency project. All these things that converged were like a very spectacular situation that you know led to your release, which is an amazing thing. But what we all need to ask ourselves is should it really be that hard for people who are doing the right thing for so many years, with egregiously long sentences, very disproportionate, to be released? So I just wanted to sort of you know package that a little bit and again appreciate the gravity of how people are passing behind the walls before I throw it back to you to talk a little bit more about your process of coming out, getting involved, being really driven by your own experiences to do something. So go ahead, greg.

Mingo:

Yeah, and so I got involved with RAP and then I also got involved with Hudson Link for higher education in prison. They operate the college programs and six facilities in New York state. I got involved with them helping to build a housing for people coming home and then from there I was involved with CUNY, the second look project. The people that helped me come home to you know the work that they did, and so now I do that. I work with Hudson Link, I work with RAP and I work with CUNY Law School. I'm currently employed as a senior advisor for the program and so I work on clemency applications and we sentence emotions and parole issues to help bring people home. That's what I do now, and also I do speaking engagements for the Innocence Project. You know I go to colleges and high schools and businesses, share my story and, you know, try to get people involved and because I believe that whether somebody's innocent or whether somebody's guilty, everybody deserves a second chance.

Mingo:

I know not to minimize some of the harm that has been caused to people, but people age out of crime, they grow up and it's kind of like to use an example you take seeds and you plant seeds and the seeds develop roots and roots turns into a tree. A tree develops branches and leaves and if you take care of the tree, it'll bear fruit. That analogy as opposed to change, growth, because I think people can. Somebody can be a good person, turn into a bad person because something happened and turn around and change back into that same good person they originally was. So I look, try to look at the evolution of somebody growth as opposed to just change, and it's important. You, we can't. I think everybody in life there's something that they regretted in their life, something that they wish they could take back, whether it's committing a crime, whether it's hurting somebody from an emotional or psychological aspect, something that we wish we could take back and unfortunately you can't.

Mingo:

You know, yesterday is yesterday, it's gone forever. You know what you did, what you said. All of that is gone and you can't really focus too much about tomorrow because it hasn't come. So you have to live today, and today you have a bunch of amazing people inside prison. You know you can't live in there for four decades and not be touched by it, not have that uh experience become your community, become your life, and that's what it's done for me and I've met a bunch of amazing people inside and so that deserve. They have committed crimes but they deserve a second chance. You know how much is enough. You know we sentence people in New York State to ridiculous sentences. If you could believe this, I have somebody, because they didn't know the law, because they was tricked by the system, that has a sentence of 1,751 and a third years to life. Wow.

Mingo:

And he was convicted of one homicide and a separate case of robberies and if you took away the 25, the life sentence for the homicide, he still has 1,726 years for some robberies. It's absurd. Yeah the whole.

Jason:

Yeah, I mean what you've highlighted a lot already. You know in terms of the system and how we treat human beings and and who gets discarded and who gets and who gets a chance to go on. You know the fist. The system failed you early on. You were taking courses at college level in high school and had you had any type of encouragement from the overall system right to keep going in that direction, you could have been doing a lot of this wonderful work potentially on the outside versus being put into this system where you've done some tremendous things right and you've made some friends.

Jason:

And now your life is. You're 69 years old, at a time when a lot of people are thinking about retirement and you're thinking about how do I help all those people? And you've taken all of that on and you're carrying the weight. I mean, I can see it in your face. I can see it. You're carrying the weight of all those injustices that you've seen, that you're trying to fix and you're trying to help and you could only do so much, but you're certainly it's commendable everything that you're doing, and it's an honor to get to know you and speak with you today that you're doing and it's an honor to get to know you and speak with you today.

Amber:

I actually have a couple of final questions for you, and a lot of times when we talk to people and you know, you've been doing this work for a little while, so you have a good understanding but I'd like you to speak to a little bit. This idea that people have that we need to protect the community from the people who are inside, and what I have seen through my own experience and maybe you can share through yours, is I think it's exactly the opposite needs people who have had these experience to be in the community, in this work in violence, disruption, telling these stories in order so that we can, you know, change the tide for people earlier in their lives. Would you agree with that assessment?

Mingo:

Absolutely. You have people inside that have done amazing things. You have people inside that have bachelor's degrees, master's degrees.

Mingo:

We're not talking about promoting and asking people who are in prison, who have done nothing with their life, nothing to change their life and they just, you know, they just there living their lives and doing nothing positive about it. We're talking about giving people an opportunity to have changed their lives, to have made that transformation. One of Muhammad Ali's favorite quotes is that if somebody's at 50, those things the way they did when they were 20, then they've wasted 30 years. Those things the way they did when they were 20, then they've wasted 30 years. We're talking about people who haven't wasted those years and who deserve an opportunity to have that chance and can come back home and come to their communities. They can put stipulations on people, whether it's through parole, whether it's through clemency. We're going to let you go, but this is what you have to do when you go home you have to work as a violence interrupter for a year. You have to do this, you have to do that. Those are stipulations that could be part of their conditions of release. Right, and these are things that people are ready, willing and able to do.

Mingo:

Most of the people that have gotten clemency have done amazing things. You know, in fact, when I came home. We created a clemency collective, and this is a group of about 20 people who have seen clemency over the years, and all of them are doing amazing things individually. So we came up with the idea well, why not, you know, join forces and collectively work towards our goals, because we're all working for the same goals at the end of the day, which is change the system, give people, make it fair. No, what kind of system do we have where the symbol that represents justice in this country is a statute of a blindfolded woman holding an unbalanced scale? Looking at that, that tells me everything I need to know about the criminal justice system that it's blind to justice and that the scales are always going to be unbalanced. And this is what we promote is justice in this country, which is really sad.

Amber:

If you were speaking to someone who is at the beginning of a journey that is similar to yours, in sort of a short couple of sentences, what advice would you have for?

Mingo:

them To believe that you can make a difference in your life and other people's lives, to believe that you have to change the narrative. You have to look. I believe that inside of us we all have like this little internal committee comprised of three people who we think we are, because everybody has an image of who we think we are, think we are, because everybody has an image of who we think we are, who other people think we are, because we're always concerned about how we're seen in other people's eyes and who we truly are. How do you get to that point of discovering who you are, who you are, where's your place in the world? And you just have to have the desire.

Mingo:

It's like asking somebody. I would ask guys inside, why is there a wall around the prison? And the average answer is that so nobody gets let out. But I would advise them to ever stop to think that maybe the wall is there to see how bad you want to get out, because if you're willing to make the difference in your life, you can make a difference. It might not happen the way you want it, but you have to make changes in your life. You have to learn how to see life out of more than one pair of eyes, otherwise it becomes meaningless.

Jason:

For a minute there. I thought his advice was going to be don't go to Jamaica, but let's say well, thank Mingo for being here. Amber, any other things you want to get in quick?

Amber:

No, I just if you wanted to just mention any places that people could go to either contact you or learn more about the work that you're doing. If there's a website address or an email address you want to share, go ahead and share that.

Mingo:

Yeah, I have a. I have an email. It's MingosMom, the number one at gmailcom If they want to reach me. Like I said, I work with RAP, I work at CUNY Law School and I work at Hudson Link. They can go to. I have an Instagram account called Free Greg Mingo. Yeah, and so if anybody wants to get in touch, want to collaborate on some things, I'm all open for it, because I see that if we're not here on Earth as human beings to help and uplift and support each other, why the hell do we even exist?

Jason:

Thank you, mingo. It was awesome to get to know you. Thanks for spending your Saturday morning with us and it's really great. We're looking to collaborate on some additional work with you. Thanks for spending your Saturday morning with us, and it's really great. We're looking to collaborate on some additional work with you and I'm sure our paths will cross many, many times.

Mingo:

So thank you, I hope so, and thank you for having me and allowing me the opportunity not just to share my story but to try to spread the word for people, just to look at things out of more than one pair of eyes. You know, sometimes we have blinders on and we only see things the way we want to see them. And to have empathy for people and to care about each other, you know, in ways that we really need to.

Jason:

Yeah, absolutely. Until next time, Amber.

Amber:

We'll see you next time.

Outro Speaker:

You've been listening to Amplified Voices, a podcast lifting the experiences of people and families impacted by the criminal legal system. For more information, episodes and podcast notes, visit AmplifiedVoicesshow.

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Decades of Incarceration and Injustice
Journey to Clemency and Redemption
Social Media Campaign Leads to Clemency
Voices for Justice
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