James Mercer

James R. Mercer#
James Mercer
SCI 100 Corrections Drive; Stanley, WI 54768

1.   Name and number: James R. Mercer - #110598.
2.   Birth Date (BD): 5/14/56 (Please note: prison records erroneously give my year of birth as 1959.).
3.   My age now is: 63 years old.
4.   The date I was incarcerated: 10/20/79.
5.   My age at the time of incarceration: I was 23 years old (Please note: prison records erroneously give my age at time of incarceration as being 20 years old.)
6.   Years in prison: 40.
7.   Offense description: First Degree Intentional Homicide, contrary to §940.01 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
8.   Length of sentence: Life.
9.   Parole eligibility date: 11 years, 3 months from the time of the commencement of sentence.
10. I'm currently incarcerated at: Stanley Correctional Institution in Stanley, Wisconsin.
11. MR/PMR DATE: None.
12. Original parole eligibility date: On or about 9/25/90.
13. Programs taken:
A. Acquired G.E.D. on June 4th, 1999;
B. Received my Building Services Diploma from M.A.T.C. on May 18th, 2007 w/3.5 C.P.A.;
C. Received my Certificate of Completion for Anger Management on 12/15/16;
D. Received my second vocational Diploma for MicroSoft Computer Applications from Chippewa Valley Technical College (C.V.T.C.) on October 26th, 2018; and
E. I completed the Carey Guides for CBP/T4C on 12/5/18. I have no other programs to take and I have maintained employment since then.
14. Number of Parole Hearings?: My-social-worker says 8 times within last 20 years.

15. Number and length of deferments: Between 1990 and 1998 I received 12 month defers; from 1998 and 2001 I was out of State, so I didn't get to see the parole Commission; as far as I know I didn't start seeing the parole commission again - until 2005, but the only records I still have from seeing the parole commission are from 2008 - I was given an 18 month deferment; on 3/22/2010 I was given a 14 month deferment; The next records I have for seeing the parole commission are from 2014, where I received my first 11 month deferment; In 2015 I received another 11 month deferment; In 2016 I received another 11 month deferment; In 2017 I received another 11 month deferment; and in 2018 I received another 11 month deferment, with an "endorsement" from the parole commission that I should be sent "...to reduced security for transition purposes, if you are cleared for this movement by clinical services," which "they" did a couple of months later.

16. Official reason for denial/deferment: . "Your release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public (1997); Your institutional conduct has NOT been satisfactory, You have NOT served sufficient time for punishment, Your program participation has NOT been satisfactory (2008); Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public, You have NOT served sufficient time for punishment, Your program participation has NOT been satisfactory (2010); Your program participation has NOT been satisfactory, Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public, You have NOT served sufficient time for punishment (2014); Your program participation has NOT been satisfactory, Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public, You have NOT served sufficient time for punishment (2015); Your program participation has NOT been satisfactory, Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public, You have NOT served sufficient time for punishment (201); Your institution conduct has been marred by multiple (meaning one conduct report) ruin-or reports of misconduct, Your program participation has NOT been satisfactory,. Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public (2017); You have NOT served sufficient time for punishment and Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public (2018)."

17. Do you have a verifiable support system? Yes, my brother in Lafayette, IN - Wes Mercer at 765-772-8808. My release support needs are pretty simple: I'll need food, shelter, clothes (i.e., winter, work, and general clothing, etc.), and access to a medical and dental clinic to supply me with insulin and diabetic supplies and dental care, and-finally I'll need transportation to and from work until I can do this for myself. My brother Wes says he is setting these things up for me even today so they will be ready when I'm paroled. I think the hardest hurddle I have to overcome is to find someone who'll hire me because I've been in prison for 40 years. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Final statement:
The three excuses that the Parole Commission uses the most to deny me a parole, are, "Due to the seriousness of the offense you have NOT served sufficient time for punishment," "Release at this time would involve an unreasonable risk to the public," and "Release at this time would depreciate from the seriousness of the offense (19901998)." The Wisconsin Legislature showed in 1979 that "they" intended a person who was convicted of the crime of First Degree Intentional Homicide could one day earn his/her freedom after he/she had served a minimum of 11 years, 3 months in prison if he/she demonstrated a good conduct history like I have in the last 5+ years. Therefore, when the Wisconsin Legislature set the parole eligibility for First Degree Murder at 11 years-3 months on a life sentence, 'they" were in fact saying to the public at large that such a person "had served sufficient time for punishment." So why am I still in prison after 40 years? There is nothing I can do about the seriousness of the offense that I am in prison for, and for the Parole Commission to use this purely subjective excuse as a reason to deny me a parole is not only insane, but it also shows that the Parole Commission seems to have even less regard for human life than "they" accuse me of once having. I guarantee you that because I am a "practicing" Christian I sin not the same "wild man" I once was in 1979.

Since 2007 I have acquired two Associate of Arts degrees in Building Services and Maintenance from M.A.TC. (2007) and in Microsoft Computer Applications from Chippewa Valley Technical College (C.V.T.C., 2018). I have also written a book on Christianity called "What the Bible Teaches" that I'm in the process of typing up for publication from the handwritten copies I originally produced it in. My book is 23 chapters long at this point and by the time I am finished writing it I hope it'll be 42 chapters in length. In addition, I do my best to stay employed at one job or another and though I sin a Master Carpenter/Cabinet Maker by trade, I don't find much opportunity in prison to practice my vocation. If I was to be paroled today, I would seek employment as a Carpenter/Cabinet Maker that makes between $15 and $35 per hour as a means to support myself and provide for my retirement, which will probably be when I can't physically work anymore.
All I'm asking for from any governmental entity out of fairness, is a second chance to prove to the people around me that I am a better, changed and matured man that's no threat to anyone. I wish the death of my seven week old infant son in 1979 had never occurred and if I could trade places with my son in his grave, so that he would be alive instead of me, I'd do so in a heartbeat!!! I can absolutely guarantee in all honesty that if I am finally ever paroled that I won't ever come back to prison with a new case charging me with committing a new crime, especially for a violent crime!!! But more importantly, since I don't drink alcohol or do illicit drugs, I'll never be revocated because of these serious infractions to my parole.


William Payne

William Payne

William Payne #280194, OCI
birth year: 1973
Incarcerated since 1994

To My Family & Friends,
         As you are most likely aware, I am making an effort to gain my
freedom. In order to successfully accomplish this, it will be extremely
 important to have a strong support network, both prior to and following
my release. I realize that you all have very busy schedules and I do not want you to take up all of your time trying to look up addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and other things.     The purpose of this letter is to advise you of ways in which you can help me, and to also provide you contact information for members of our State Legislature, Parole Board, and the Governor.
       One very important way of support is to write letters of support on my behalf. These letters would be included in a packet that would go before the judge in my case. These letters could be from you, where you could describe the positive changes you have noticed in me over the years, as well as the role you will play as a member of my support group upon my release. Letters of support from people who do not know me are also acceptable. Examples of this sort of people could be potential employers, educators, members of local churches, community leaders, or even just friends of yours! Their letters would describe ways in which they would be able to support me, such as offering employment, providing haircuts, spending time with me doing positive and worthwhile things in the community, or just being someone I can talk things through with.
         Another way of providing support is to become involved in grass-root organizations that deal with mass incarceration and excessive sentencing. Sometimes, remaining silent is mistaken for agreeing with something. Some of these organizations are W.I.S.D.O.M, Micah, Inc, MOSES, JOB, SOPHIA, ESTHER, and CUSH.
      Write a letter of support to the Wisconsin Parole Commission to support the release of William H. Payne, DOC #280194. These letters of support are viewed as evidence that I have a network of family and friends that will help me upon my release. These letters show:
1. That there are people who know and care about me.
2. That I have outside support while I am in prison.
3. That there will be people there to help me when I get out.
4. The good side of me, which helps to balance the bad side, which is the only side that appears in my criminal files.
There are several things that should appear in the letter of support:
1. Your relationship to me (Brother, Sister, Daughter, Friend, etc)
2. How long you've known me.
3. Your belief that, despite my crimes, that I am a good person who is worthwhile of being given another opportunity and the reason you feel this way.
4. Your belief that I will be a productive, law-abiding member of the community, if given the opportunity. Describe improvements in my attitude, behavior, and anything else that I've done to improve myself. It would also be appropriate to describe the types of assistance you will provide, such as consultation, references, employment, finding housing, etc.
          The letters of support should have a "decent" appearance. If possible, the letter should be typed. If the letter of support includes an offer of employment, it should preferably be typed on Company letterhead and include the employer name, the type of work being offered, my position, and the pay rate. Ideally, this letter should be one page, but if you have more to say, the letter can be longer.
         Letters of support can be sent as often as you like! When you send letters regularly, and not just when there are upcoming parole hearings, it validates your on-going support for my release by showing consistency and active support. It's a strong indication to the Parole Board that you will stand by me after my release.
        When writing to the Governor or State Legislature, tell them that Wisconsin's old laws of parole are not being upheld properly. Inmates were required to meet the conditions set by their sentencing judge, but the State of Wisconsin is failing to uphold the laws these inmates were sentenced under, which means they are serving more time than their sentencing judges ever intended. In order to keep the focus on these issues, make a commitment to call, write, or e-mail your Legislature, Senator, or the Governor. You can say things such as, "I support the release of parole eligible inmates" or "I do not agree or support the Parole Commission being reduced to only one Parole Chairman."
        I have included a copy of my sentencing transcript and a copy of Baron Walker's Motion for Sentence Modification. Please read them! As you can see in the case of Baron Walker, the actual facts of his crimes were not the issue; it was the fact that he had met all sentencing conditions and was still being held. (Baron Walker's motion was successful, and he is now a free man.)
       I believe, that with your help, my chances of being successful in obtaining my release are greater than 90%.
As mentioned earlier in my letter, support can come from people or organizations that do not know me. This includes churches, community leaders, school teachers, counselors, or attorneys that are willing to help out. Some of these individuals or organizations can be found online. Update my Face Book page and let people viewing my page know what I am seeking to accomplish, and how they can help.
         I have limited access to information on contacting the people and entities mentioned in this letter,and no access to the internet at all. However, I do have some contact information that will help you get started.

Governor Scott Walker                                                                       Wisconsin Parole  Commission                                                                                                                                          
115 East State Capitol                                                                                     3099 Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53702                                                                                           P0 Box 7960
                                                                                                                             Madison, WI 53707-

WI State Assembly:         http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/
WI House of Representatives:   www.house.gov/htbin/findro

I hope the information is helpful to you. Again, I know that you have very busy schedules, and while I might not say it very often, I do very much appreciate all the help and support you have given me over the years. Thank you!

Letter to the Parole Commission

To Whom It May Concern,
My name is William H. Payne, and I am currently incarcerated at Oshkosh Correctional Institution. I am writing this letter to ask for your consideration to grant me the opportunity to resume my life as a free citizen and to become a productive member of society.

I was born and raised in a housing project on the south side of Chicago. My neighborhood was a very rough, dangerous environment, strife with violent criminal activity, drug dealing, prostitution, and gang warfare.

Life at home was not immune from the activity going on in my neighborhood. As a small child, I was beaten by my mother's boyfriend, sexually abused by his niece, and I lost several family members, including my young niece, to violent acts.

As a teen, I too gave into the influences of the environment around me and started engaging in criminal activity. As I grew older, I began to abuse drugs; my criminal activity began to spin out of control, and eventually resulted in the commission of a homicide. I was a young man with no direction who had received only improper guidance in life.

I have been incarcerated for over 21 years. When I entered prison, I was a troubled, angry young man with little education. I was, for all practical purposes, completely illiterate.

During my incarceration, I strove to improve the man that I once was. I have learned to read and write, and went on to earn my High School Equivalency Diploma.

When my sentence was imposed, there were certain criteria that was set in order for me to have a chance at reintegration into the community. This included educational as well as programming needs. I successfully completed all court-ordered educational and programming requirements. In addition, I identified and completed extra programming and educational modules that I felt would help me to be successful in reintegrating back into the community. These programs were intended to improve upon my survival skills, cognitive thinking, and problem solving.

While not inclusive of all the classes and programming that I have completed, I would like to describe some examples of what I have attended and completed.

Turning Point 1 and 2 are intended to provide methods of coping with alcohol and drug addiction.

Restorative Justice addressed the effects that my crime had upon not only the victim and his family and friends, but also the impact on my family and friends; additionally the ripple effects on the community as a whole.

Peer Therapy Group explored how the violence, abuse, and crime early in my life influenced my criminal activity and drug abuse as a young adult.

Anger Management, as the name implies, taught me methods and strategies for controlling my anger.
The Grief Support Group dealt with the loss of life and helped me to understand the .effects my crime had on the victim's family and friends.

I continue to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

The M.I.C.A. (Mental Illness and Chemical Abuse) program has helped me to handle virtually any situation that may arise during the course of my day. The emphasis of this program is on being an active listener and teaches coping skills that enable me to function productively in society. The M.I.C.A. program also offers assistance in finding housing, employment, and offers resources to help me be successful. M.I.C.A. has given me so much hope towards achieving my post-release aspirations. All I ask is for the opportunity to demonstrate my commitment to be that productive member of society.

A common theme as I went through all of my programs was amazement on the part of the professionals conducting the programs that I had even survived the many hardships and violence that was so prevalent throughout my youth.

I have appeared before the Parole Board a total of 6 times. Below is a brief summary of the results, as well as the general reasoning behind these actions.
My 1st parole hearing was on August 10th, 2008. I was given a 36 month deferment. Unfortunately, I have misplaced my copy of the Parole Commission Action (DOC-1208) from this hearing, so I do not have the specific reasons for these actions.

The 2nd parole hearing was on June 7th, 2012. I received a 24 month deferment. The reasons given for this action are listed as follows:
1. You have not served sufficient time for punishment.
2. Your institutional conduct has been satisfactory.
3. Your program participation has not been satisfactory.
4. You have developed an adequate plan, but will need agent's verification.
5. Release at this time would pose a serious risk to the public.

On May                2014, my 3 rd parole hearing was held. I was given a 24 month deferment, and the same reasons
were given for this action.

The 4th parole hearing was on May 25th 2016. I was given a 12 month deferment, for the same reasons. I had my 5th parole hearing on June 30th 2017, with the same results and reasons.

On May 15th, 2018, I had my 6th parole hearing. I received an 11 month deferment with an endorsement to a minimum security prison. The reasons for this action were also the same, with the exception of the subject of program participation. This was changed from "Not Satisfactory" to "Satisfactory."

At the last three parole hearings, in the "Commission Comments", it is noted that this is my first incarceration, but that I have a significant criminal record and was on supervision at the time for two different cases. I would like to point out that these cases were misdemeanors, not felonies. Also, I would like to re-iterate that at the time, I was the angry, troubled young man that I described earlier in this letter. I am no longer that person; in over 20 years of incarceration, I too have had the opportunity to change my thought processes and mature.

I am very proud of the changes I have made in my life, and of everything that I have achieved. Those who have known me for a long time often comment on how different I have become, in a positive way. I have had ample opportunity over the years to reflect upon the enormity of my crimes. To say that I am very remorseful for what I have done would be a huge understatement. Unfortunately, I cannot turn back the hands of time and un-do my crime. I have hurt so many people with my acts, and I will have to live with this for the rest of my life.

Fortunately, I am also blessed to have a loving family and friends that will be a strong support group when I reenter society. I am touched by their trust and support, and I don't ever want to let them down too.
Again, I ask that you consider, all that I have accomplished while in prison when making your decision, and I'm grateful for your time.
William H. Payne

 William Payne Competency list for release (https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/william-payne-list-competency-10-18d.pdf)

William Payne Court transcript (https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/william-payne-crt-transcript-10-18-b.pdf

William Payne certificates /achiehttps://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/william-payne-certificates-all.pdfvements

Woodrow Ingram

Woodrow Ingram 179334                                                 
Fox Lake Correctional Institution(FLCI)
Woodrow Ingram
birth date 3 17 1964, 55  now

Answers from Questionaire
click to view handwritten questionaire
1)was 26 when incarcerated. Has been in prison 27 years

2)Offense: 3 counts of armed Robbery

3)sentence was 39 years

4)MR Date:October 22, 2020

5)19 programs taken ( see pdf doc below) and pictures

6)Number of parole hearings; has seen parole 14 times and was denied.  (36,24,24,11,11,9,9,9,9,24,12,11,8, and my last parole hearing I was given mandatory release of 1 year, 8 months.

7)reasons  for denial:Not enough time served, risk to the public, institution conduct- only 3 Conduct reports

8)Support: 6 sisters living in Atlanta, Georgia. Will go there.
Woodrow Ingrams' Sisters in Alabama

thank you for apology letter to victims

HSED requirement done


Randy Behnke Innocent and will not lie

note: FFUP has often found that the people who have the most difficult time in our prisons are those consider themselves innocent(whether they are or not, FFUP is not in the position to say). The DOC does not consider the innocent option and at every turn impedes progress. Below, Randy Behnke is refused programming because he will not admit guilt. In our view, he has well served his time  and is eligible for parole and should be out.

 Randy Behnke 113946
RCI, Po Box 900
Sturtevant, WI 531778
birth year 1961, 58y.o.

statement 2016:
          I’ve been prison for 22 years 4 months for a crime I didn’t commit. Parole will not parole me. The DOC will not allow me to complete my programs to earn parole because I cannot admit to a crime I did not commit.
         My MR is coming up October 18. Parole commission informed me he is recommending my PMR charge be enforced which adds 5 years 4 months to 2018 October. This is not my fault, never has been, my conduct is good no tickets so I just keep being punished for a domestic situation with my girl friend in 1994 which was all conjecture.
         I’ve tried everything, fighting my conviction, Wisconsin Innocence Project. Sentence modification, try to convince DOC to allow me to do programs. Nothing works. Now I’m out of time for my MR is in October 2018.So they lord the PMR over me to keep me longer. All of this is so wrong and so unjust they put it all on me. I’m absolutely miserable and despondent.  No where to turn.
         I see guys like Steven Avery and his nephew Brandon Dassey get all the help they want but not me. I’m not lying about this. What would be the point.  For once I would love, just once to have someone be on my side.

 "MY STORY:"handwritten:

Parole hearing : 

 Inmate Classification Report: