A second chance


For most convicted felons a second chance means nothing to them as soon as they get out they commit a crime that land them right back in jail.

For three time convicted murder a second chance at life means everything to him.

Today was a day with very high anticipation as there was a guest speaker for my one class.  That speaker is Gerald T Balone who on April 24, 1973 killed three people in the process of committing a burglary.

It started earlier that day as Balone entered a restaurant where a group of people that he didn’t recognize was eating. Upon entering Balone sat down and asked what they were looking at. That triggered what would happen later as the group started to beat Balone up, which he somehow Balone escaped.and

Balone went back to his fellow Savage gang members to go look for these men to get payback. After looking for several hours Balone and another man decided to go steal a valuable coin collection as they thought the members of the house where away.  That way they would have more money to continue their search.

In the process of the burglary Balone and his accomplise realized that the occupants of the home were not gone. So, Balone killed the two people and when leaving the house another person entered the house after they heard the noise, who they also killed.

Shortly after that they heard the police coming and hid the guns and coins thinking there were no other witnesses.  However, after being in custody only for a short time a witness came out of a house across the street and identified the two men.

Balone was sentenced to jail for 50 years to life, but eventually had that knocked down to 25 years to life by law changes.

While in prison Balone was one of the most disruptive people in the system to the point that he was transferred to a new prison with 24 hour supervision.  The only way out of the unit was through enrollment of education classes and programs.

Balone enrolled thinking that he would just use it to fool them into releasing him, but in the process he discovered something.

“I realized that education opened up a lot of opportunities,” Balone said.

Balone would then go on to obtain two Masters Degrees in Community Health Administration and Urban Ministry.

Eventually, a Domincan nun started to write to Balone and from there that to be truly free of his anger he had to learn forgiveness.  He realized that after he learned that an psychological evaluation stating that he was retarded was incorrect.  Balone the retard excuse for everything and when that disappeared he realized that everything that has happened in his life was his fault.

Balone became eligible for parole in 1995, but due to the things that he did in prison, like killing other inmates, pushed off his ability to be paroled.

He finally caught a break when Eliot Spitzer became governor as Spitzer decided to parole inmates that shouldn’t really be in there as a way to save money.  Due to this Balone was finally paroled in 2007 after 37.5 years in prison.

Balone relizes that one little mistake will land him back in jail.

“I have 29 conditions to my parole and if I violate even one of them I will land back in jail without ever getting parole again,” Balone said. “Due to this I approach everything carefully like somone is watching me.”

As a way to redeem himself for what he has done Balone speaks to whoever will listen him.  The reason being to get out his message to everyone that crime isn’t the way to go.

Obviously, Balone cannot leave Erie County without approlval, but thanks to Skype his message is heard around the world.

“Thanks to Skpye I have to talked to people in Africa, Europe and around the globe.”

Balone has proven in his three years on parole that he has changed his as he stated himself parole officers are more worried about convicted felons that have been recently paroled.  The reason being that the period of time that a paroled convicted felons will commit another crime is right after they been paroled.  The proof of that is the frrequency of inspections as just after a convicted felon is released their place of residence in inspected every week and as time goes on the length of time in between each grows.

In the end, hopefully someone within the government will realize that Balone is a huge asset that would make a huge difference in communities and prison systems across the globe.

Williams article made me sick


For whatever reason people are enamored by Buffalo Bills nose tackle Kyle Williams and one of those people is Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan who wrote an article on him today.

Just reading the article made me sick.

A lot of people in Buffalo when they look at Kyle Williams’ numbers they think that the defense’s inability to stop offenses running game is due to bad linebackers. However, if you were to tape the Bills games you would see a different story.

The Buffalo Bills in 2006 had decent linebackers in Takeo Spikes, London Fletcher and Angelo Crowell, so with the hype around Williams you think the defense would be good that year.  Well your wrong as the Bills were ranked 28 against the run. Yes, it was Williams rookie year, but it is not hard for a rookie defensive tackle to make an impact right away as their main responsibility is to hold their ground or get penetration to keep the offensive lineman off linebackers.

According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, since Williams’ rookie year the Bills have gone through at least eight different starters at linebacker, along with two defensive tackles in Larry Tripplett and Marcus Stroud. Stroud has been rock solid since coming over in a trade. Also, there are only three other starters that have been the same since Williams’ rookie season in Chris Kelsay, Terrence McGee and Donte Whitner.

Considering that Kelsay and McGee were starters on the 2004 defense that was ranked second overall they aren’t the problem, nor is Whitner since the Bills main problem is stopping the run up the middle.

With the defense also changing formations every possibility to improve the run defense has been tried except for one thing.  That being benching Williams and try someone else in his place.

Everyone is so caught up in his work ethic and how it represents the blue collar worker here in Buffalo that everyone misses the most important thing about Williams’ play.  That being he is terrible against double teams.

Why do you think former Bills defensive coordinator Perry Fewell moved Williams from the nose tackle in the 4-3 to the three technique defensive tackle?

Because Williams cannot stop a double team even if his life depended on it.

In the end, it is time to replace Williams, but if the Bills head coach Chan Gailey are foolish enough to leave him as the starter then they deserve to be fired.

Things sometimes comes in threes


Until recently, I have been trying to decide if I want another child as I already have a girl and a boy.

I finally decide to try for another as my reasoning is that hopefully it will draw the other two’s attention, along with some lessons in responsibility.  I came to this conclusion after observing my son and daughter as they were both always pretending that their stuffed animals were a baby.  Also, my son, who is younger, always is trying to help around the house and at school.

So, Tuesday my wife and I found out that indeed we will be having our third child.  What makes this notable is that the due date is the Fourth of July.

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays and I love fireworks.  When I heard the due date one of the very first things that crossed my mind is having a party with a professional pyrotechnic company. Also, what came across me right away was if there is a firework like the board with that display’s a picture, but instead would say happy birthday.

Another thing that is cool is that my older two will be able to spend some time with it right after it is born. If it was born during the year it would have been pretty crazy balancing the newborn and school. So, at least now we have two months to situate things before school starts again.

The one thing that I am not looking forward to is having to take two children by myself on Halloween as obviously the baby would be too small to go out then.

In the end, it is always a wonderful thing to bring a new child into the world.

Lack of coverage on Spiller is amazing


On Wednesday, Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller used a gay slur at a former college teammate from Clemson in Ricky Sapp on Twitter, but for whatever reason no local attention was given to it.

The simple fact that no one in Buffalo is reporting it is just absolutely amazing.

Pro Football Talk broke the news Wednesday that Spiller hurled the gay slur that he later apologized for. It is just amazing in a country that is very sensitive about these type of things, Spiller’s incident not having been reported more almost 18 hours later is mind blowing.  However, I wouldn’t doubt that WECK 1230’s Brad Riter has mentioned it since he is a reader of Pro Football Talk and is the very first person to interview Pro Football Talk’s editor Mike Florio on the radio, but since they don’t post news article on their site just yet I cannot be sure.

It was reported on Tuesday by TMZ that former Vice President candidate Sarah Palin’s daughter Willow hurled a gay slur at a former classmate on Facebook.  Of course that is making the rounds through all the internet sites and most likely will reach the mainstream news by the weekend.

Spiller needs to be held accountable for his actions and should be suspended for it as there is no reasons to be hurling gay slurs.  Every swear word, or even George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words,” would have been more appropriate than what he used.

However, what most likely will happen is Spiller will be heavily fined under NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s “Player Conduct Policy.”

In the end, it looks like Spiller has had his welcome to the NFL moment.