Pennsylvania Parole Board’s Political Crucifixion of Shakaboona

By Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall

It has been nearly a year since I, Shakaboona, was resentenced at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before the Honorable Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart on May 17, 2018. Who would’ve thought that since my resentencing as a Child Offender serving a Death By Incarceration (DBI) sentence (aka Life Without Parole—LWOP) the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) would be the political entity dead set on having me serve a DBI sentence by perpetually denying me parole release to society?

After all of my extraordinary steps to positively transform my mentality and my life, to save our youth, and to actively uplift our communities to make them better places to live, I find myself trapped in the clutches of the merciless PBPP, lost in a never-never land of parole pirates, between a definite numbered minimum prison sentence and life maximum sentence, with seemingly no way out. The public needs to know that “crucifixion ain’t fiction,” it’s real, and as Jesus knew, it’s political hatred.

My travesty of justice began at my first parole hearing in September 2018, when I was reviewed by parole board members Everett A. Gillison, Esq. and Leslie M. Grey, Esq. Though my parole hearing went exceedingly well, on October 16, 2018, I was given a Notice of Board Decision that I was denied parole and given a nine-month parole hit until the next time I’m reviewed again.

People across the state and country were livid about the PBPP’s decision to deny me parole release and proceeded to contact the then PBPP Chairperson Leo Dunn, voicing their disagreement with the decision. I too voiced my disagreement by submitting a Request for Reconsideration to the Chairperson on November 26, 2018, that was summarily rejected.

In June 2019, nine months later, I received what would be my second parole hearing by PBPP members Grey and Anthony Moscato.

And although I believed my parole hearing was average, Grey gave me the impression that she already had decided to deny me parole before actually interviewing me. During the parole hearing, Moscato and Grey asked me a very odd question from out of the clear blue sky, “Are you called Shakaboona?” I replied that, indeed, my name is Shakaboona. They also asked a couple catch-22 questions to try and illicit damning responses. I left the parole hearing feeling as if they had made me go through the motions of a perfunctory hearing, just so they could say they gave me the constitutionally required due process of a parole hearing, so that they could again “lawfully” deny me parole release.

My perception proved correct. On July 1, 2019, the PBPP denied me parole release for the second time. On July 15, 2019, my attorneys from Amistad Law Project and Abolitionist Law Center submitted a “Notice of Reconsideration and Grant of Parole” to the new PBPP Chairperson Theodore W. Johnson, outlining the reasons why my parole review and decision did not comport with the PBPP standard and violated my constitutional rights. Two weeks later, after implicitly acknowledging I was denied parole based on false reasons, the PBPP dismissed its July 1st parole denial decision and ordered for me to receive a new parole hearing.

On August 19, 2019, I was given a new parole hearing—my third within a year—conducted by Moscato and former PBPP Chairperson Leo Dunn. The parole hearing looked to have gone very well. But looks can be deceiving. On August 29, 2019, just ten days later, I was denied parole a third time. Normally, after an incarcerated person gets a parole denial and 9-month parole review hit, at their next hearing the person is usually granted parole release. Well, that being the case, then my three consecutive parole denials and increased parole hit is both abnormal and unusual. There’s something terribly wrong with this picture.

Lets interrogate the matter. How is it that a positive incarcerated brother and activist role model in the community like myself, can attend parole hearings on three separate occasions within a year, yet be denied each time for no valid reasons? Why did the PBPP double down on its sham parole hearings and parole denials at my second and third parole hearings? And why did board members Moscato and Grey ask me “Are you called Shakaboona?” during my parole hearing? 

Am I being politically targeted, retaliated against, and discriminated against for being a human rights leader, organizer, and activist for the past 30 years in the belly of the beast? Is it because the PBPP view me as a high political threat to their establishment? Or is it because the PBPP are angry about the many grassroots people from across the country that expressed their disapproval of the PBPP’s decision to deny me parole and demanded my parole release?

We can’t speak to the intentions or motivations of what the PBPP are doing exactly, but we can look at the results. The results show that I am being singled out by the PBPP for special mistreatment of perpetual sham parole hearings and parole denials until I die in prison. After all, I still have a DBI sentence with my new indefinite Life With Parole imprisonment sentence.

My legal team and I see no benefit in appealing my parole denial to the same PBPP members that denied my parole on three separate occasions. Therefore, instead of a parole appeal, my attorneys will be taking the matter to Court. I ask for everyone’s support by:

  1. Giving a money donation for my legal defense and for my survival in prison for the purchase of phone, email, and food and hygiene items:

    Donate at the Abolitionist Law Center website at https://abolitionistlawcenter.org/

    Click on the DONATE button. Enter the amount you would like to donate. Once you choose PayPal or Debit Card you will see “Is this for a specific case or project?”  This is where you will enter “FOR SHAKABOONA.”

  2. Make my travesty with the PBPP known on social media and at public events.

Let us fight the good fight y’all, because freedom ain’t free for anybody.

Write to Shakaboona:

Smart Communications/PA DOC

Kerry Shakaboona Marshall #BE7826

SCI Rockview

P.O. Box 33028

St. Petersburg, FL 33733