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March 06, 2009




There are so many stories of injustices that never get corrected that I watched your documentary hoping yours would end well, but not exactly expecting it would. I was incredibly moved by the peacefullness about you and can rest a little easier tonight knowing that sometimes the truth does prevail. I truely wish you happiness in your life and I hope to one day see that play you talked about writing. Chicanos need more positive role models and someone like you to give insight into our world.

Thank you so much for your story!


Elizabeth Bello

Hi Mario,

Through out this week I have been able to see your story a few time, crying each and every time. It is extremely disappointing to see what a failure our justice system is. It was a tragedy that you had to spend 10years to prove your innocense.
I just need you to know that you are an inspiration. Some time we don't appretiate the small things in life, and we don't realize how lucky we are to at least have your freedom. I am so proud of you and everything you stand for. I'm from NYC and it is very rare that I see someone as genuine and sincere as you. You are a role model for every young kid somewhere that feels they have no way out. Unfortunately here I see alot of that. SI SE PUEDE, SI LO HICISTES, Y SI LO HARAS! Gracias!! Your spirit is the story to be told! Please continue to let us here from you, how are you doing? And how is your life turning out to be? May God Bless you and your family. With love, And if your ever in New York, it would be my honor!!!



Aloha Mario --

I had the opportunity to see your story on Cable and was literally moved to tears about your ordeal. I was so inspired by your faith in your innocence and belief that akua (God) would make things pono (right) for you. You are so filled with mana (innate power) bestowed from the divine that you were able to manifest your freedom and true destiny. Your 'ohana (family) belief in the person that they knew you are gave you the spiritual strength to persevere. I am so inspired by the moral of your story. You have a wonderful sense of being and you are from a family that is "salt of the earth". They never stopped believing in you and are your ROCK! You are very fortunate and very beloved. Much aloha to you and your family.

Malama pono (With Righteousness) from Hawai'i. Kapi'olani Kealohapau'ole

Patty Gutierrez-Meeke

OMG!! I just watched your story this morning at 4:30 am and I was so into it that I did not even go to the YMCA to work out because I had to watch!! It was the most inspiring story that I have ever heard. You are a real gem and I am so glad that the Judicial System finally pulled their heads out and gave you a chance to prove your innocence!! You are an inspiration to not only the hispanic community, but to EVERYONE!! May you live a long, blessed and most of all...FREE life!!

Bhakti Brophy

Hello Mario-- I just watched "Mario's Story" twice in a row. I've spent my entire life on the spiritual path, meditating, contemplating, etc., I have come to experience that the inner Self is where the Truth lies. We have SO MUCH strength and power inside ourselves, because pure consciousness (i.e. God) lives in our hearts. I have spent the last 4 years 100% disabled due to severe pain caused by a rare spinal condition. Although I would never consider being stuck in bed at my parents' house the same as being in prison--not by a long shot; I believe that you tapped into the same spiritual Truth within your Heart that I do to keep myself alive. I am so moved by your story; your poise. Your knowledge that SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY, the truth of your innocence was going to be known. You KNEW. Your faith in yourself and in your right to freedom seemed undeniable. That is not blind faith; that is The Truth. People ask me how I live every day in pain and I tell them that I am something so much greater than the pain. I believe, perhaps, that you had the same experience or feeling when you spent all of that time in jail. Isn't that knowledge what kept you going? The knowledge that you weren't just someone small and insignificant, but an extention of the love and glory of pure consciousness (i.e. a manifestation of God)? I am so incredibly proud of you for turning a most horrific experience into a great learning experience. You had to tap into the place of strength within yourself that most people never come to know even exists. That is Grace. But by the same token, I am disgusted at the judicial system for making it so easy to wrongly convict someone of a crime, and then make it virtually impossible to set that person free--even when new lawyers have found facts and new witnesses that point to the innocence of the wrongly convicted. There is something terribly wrong with our judicial system. I am so graciously proud of you for making it through this ordeal without becoming bitter. I am so happy that you are now free. God bless, and may your life be filled with peace, love, and joy forever.

Much Love,

Tina White

Dear Mario

I just finished watching your story on TV. I was also glued to the TV hoping that they freed you. My heart went out to you and your family. It's amazing that there are people out there that are willing to go out there way for somebody. The team that you had representing you, belived in you and they weren't going to give up on you. They were you vioce and a great one at that. I just want to say that I am proud of you and good luck with your future. Going to college is a great idea and an excellent reward at the end. You deserve the best.
Love: Tina White

Blanca Padills

Take your experience and continue to share it, it will continue to help change someone's life. I am sure you will continue to touch many young people's hearts in helping them make the right choices. I hope you succeed in your goals and dreams. Good luck!

Joanna Valdez

Hello Mario,

I saw your story on Showtime this morning. I was crying through it. I was saddened by the ordeal that you went through. I am glad that you remained positive. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I believe that your are and will continue to grow because of your tribulations. In watching your story, I just wanted to make sure that you were not killed while in jail. The first time you were sent to the infirmary, I knew that something had happened to you. I can not believe that you were stabbed that many times and yet you survived. The next time, was more severe and still you were not ready to go. God saved you. I am ecstatic because of it. I am also glad that you were let out. I can only imagine what you must have gone through in all those years of confined solitude. I wonder if you would have written as you do after you were sent to that juvenile detention center. What do you think?

I wonder also if they will ever re-open the case for which you were found guilty. I mean someone killed that person and they should be tried. Someone must have seen someone shoot the person who died. Just like you and your family felt horrible for finding you guilty of a crime you did not commit, I am sure the family of the deceased also were horrified by the occurrences that lead to their loved one being murdered.

Thank God that you were set free. I hope that you will be able to live the life you might have dreamed of so many times while in confinement. I hope that you make the best of the time you have ahead of you. God Bless you always!

You are an Inspiration!


Joanna Valdez

Maria Elena Pintado Espiet

Mario, just saw Mario's Story-- my deepest respect gpes to you and all those who engaged in the fight for your freedom... what touched me the most, as I saw the movie, was that peace that emanated from you-- your ease with words-- you have a story to tell--- and you do have a gift for choosing the right wrds to tell it... as a teacher, as a law student whoc dreams of fighting for cases like yours, and above all as a human being and a mother, I must once again rejoice in your freedom. However lamentable the experience, it has brought you to a priviledged insight few human beings are ever able to attain. May God bless you and your family

Sandy Darden

Hello Mario,

After another sleepless night of my own, I came upon the journey of you and the battle for justice on my tv screen. As a recent graduate of the criminal justice program at my local university I have found your story to be most inspiring. I switched major's my freshman year of college after my sister was murdered because I just like you want to see the justice system prevail. I am deaply sorry for the years you lost inside a prison but it seems that you are taking what you once thought were hopeless dreams and turning them into a bright and prosperous future. I'm not a very superstitious person, but for some reason I awoke early this morning and found your story upon my tv screen. I'm sure it happened for a reason and whether tomorrow or 10 years from now I'm sure that watching your story will help me in some way. So thanks for that!!!

I wish you all the luck in the happy years that await you!!

Carol Imani


Do you think you could get in touch with me? I'm a friend of Kevin Jackson, who I'm sure you'll remember was your last cellie at Juvenile Hall. Kevin is very pleased about how things have worked out for you and would love to write to you or hear from you. He could use some encouragement, as things are pretty bleak for him--but he is making the best of it all. He hasn't had any luck with the legal system. I'm a writing instructor who has been his friend and correspondent for the last 3 1/2 years. We've gotten close writing long letters back and forth You can reach me at kfbaguette@gmail.com. Please be in touch. I hope all is going well with you. Carol


An extremely touching story. For the man is imperfect, therefore, the laws of the man are imperfect. Unfortunately, many innocent have, are, and will continue to pay with their lives to prove how wicked and corrupt man's system is. The Almighty has permitted for land government to established law and order. He did this because history and future must unfold accordingly to. But bare in mind that God is not the one who rules the present wicked system that we live in...for the the God of this wicked system is the who thought he could steal his father right to rule. Not his power, but, his right to rule. For years, man, egotistically persists to govern for themselves world-wide, but with ineffective results. The only true power and justice, lies in our Creator. For those who believe in him, he promises to bring an end to all injustice, and demonstrate that his word never fails. My heart goes out to the Rocha family, especially Mario. Contiue to persue the truth. There is only one truth that the Creator requires for all humankind to persue. It lies in the oldest most supreme, indestructable book that has ever existed. Don't just believe in it, because, believing is not enough. Believe it, apply to it, and gain correct knowledge. Mario's experience is very much appreciated. He is a perfect example of strength. Take care.


Your story was amazing. I recorded thinking that it would just be another story to watch. It touched my heart and actually made me cry...even my mother in law cried which is a big thing. God Bless you and I'm so very happy that the outcome of your ordeal has come out in your favor. You went in a teenager and came out a man. I dont know how you kept your spirits up throughout but you are awesome!


Thank you Mario,
We need more young warriors like you out there, then maybe my daughter would still be alive. Our young people need guidance, and I believe that our Creator used you, (like me) to give some tools to the people how to live a decent happy life.

lisa rezendes

Dearest Mario, Your story has touched me profoundly & has opened my eyes to the many injustices that occur in this world. I do not know how you kept yourself so positive during your incarceration. As a mother of two boys, I felt the pain your Mom Vicki & the rest of your family must have been going through. I think of you as a STRONG, Positive Role Model for all of us. Not just the youths out there, but for us all! Whatever struggles we as human beings are faced with, we could ALL take a page from your book on how to handle adversity with Grace, Honor & dignity. I hope things are going well for you now. I read your blog and it thrills me to hear that you are in college. As a fellow (wanna be) writer (i never seem to find the time w/my BUSY schedule!) I too wish to return to school & at take a few courses-we shall see! Again, what a fine example for us all to follow. I hope your Mom & rest of the family are doing well, but then again, how could they not? They have their beloved Mario back where he belonged all along~~~at home!!! Take Care Mario & Stay Blessed as Always...a true admirer...Lisa Rezendes

Mackenzie McAlpin

amazing story. inspirational and beautiful. thank you for sharing.
i just watched the documentary...you are an incredible incredible incredible person. you have strong faithful people on your side. ... sooooo deserving.
you're rad. i hope you're doing great! thank you so much for sharing.

Felsia Johnson

Before anything congrats on winning your case. You know the Lord only knows why you went through what you did. I do know and I pray that it makes you a better and strong person. I pray that school goes great for you. I hope that you learn and you do everything you dreamed you would. MARIO TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESSSSS!



may you be blessed every day, mario. your journey is a great teacher for so many - especially for your family who now have such a beautiful role model. thank you, thank you for your service to this planet.



I just finished watching your documentary. First let me say I'm glad that you are surrounded by such loving and caring people, who took it upon themselves to continue to fight and give you a voice outside of prison.

You are the definition of one who is a fighter and believer. Your smile, even during the most tumultuous points during the movie, penetrated the screen and made me smile. I respect and admire for you ability to remain positive and focussed. You are such a wonderful example of someone who didn't let the system break them down. You never showed any bitterness in your face or in the words that left your mouth. You are a beautiful human being.

I did a GOOGLE search following the movie because I had to know what happened to you. To scroll through your blog and find you are now in college made me cry. FELICITACIONES!

God truly is amazing. Your lawyers, the chaplain, your mother, they are angels on earth.

There is no doubt you will succeed as far and as wide as you dream. You are the ultimate success story. Thank you for sharing your story with the nation.

I hope you continue your blog throughout your college experience. You are wise beyond your years and have triumphed through the darkest valleys of dispair. As much as you will learn in college, you will teach others through your story and writing. Please keep speaking and writing. I hope you will go into the schools and colleges and share your story and what you've learned if you aren't already.

God Bless you, your family and your advocates. You are truly a gift on this earth.

Loetje Loe

Dear Mario,
I am originally from The Netherlands (Europe) but living now in New York City with my American boyfriend. The reason why I never will continue my life here is your story and the stories of many others. How the U.S. legal system works is one of the greatest crimes in the world. I can't believe that innocence must be proven rather than quilt. I can't believe this system doesn't grant a second chance to people who wants to improve themselves. I can't believe that people are sentenced to life or death only on eyewitness testimonies. I can't believe that leaders of this country don't take any responsibility for their own people. Thousands of homeless people after Katrina, quantanamo bay not to forget, thousands of innocent prisoners, no decent healthcare system whatsoever. Your story brought a glimmer of hope, but it confirmed once again that in many ways the US (legal) system is not very different of less developed countries. I hope you will keep your positive spirit for the rest of your life and that you will be a very happy man after these criminals took 10 years from you. I am wishing you all the best for the future and I keep believing that one day justice will prevail for all!
Loetje Loe

margaret king

Dear Mario, I happened to pick up the movie at the local video store in wyoming. I had not heard about your case. My husband is a hard-working, caring public defender in northern california. I will make sure he sees this movie. Congratulations, Mario. I am so happy that you have been freed.
My thoughts are with so many others, waiting for justice, especially the juveniles. You are an inspiration. best wishes with your studies. And my best to your mom!

Katrina Mitchell

I was touched by uour story that I saw on showtime Oct 2, 2009! So amny men like you that re in prison for a crime that was not commited? So many that have lost souls because no one belives them or they just don's know the system. I have 4 brothers that were in gangs back in the day. Let me tell you Mario they two were at the wrong place at the wrong time. My husband him two was in mixed up with friends that just liked trouble. He changed for the love of his family. I know that you are not a gang memeber. Your story touched a lot of people that their familyies are in your shoes.
Not to many lawyers can be a good lawyer or to even try to get their clients off the hook. You were and are so blessed to have the people fight for you and never gave up hope on you. Your family was their by your side all the way. So sorry that you got stabbed so many time and then again you got a clasped lung!! We know that them inmates did not want you to leave because they were jealouse of you cause your case was being handled and their s was not!! You held I their with you head held high!! I loved it when you were outside walking the grounds with a guard and you were singing "FREEDOM"! FREEDOM IS WHAT YOU GOT!!

BE STONG AND KEEP YOUR HEAD UP HIGH!! Your stroy is a blessing!!


Isabel Rodriguez


I was watching TV when i seen your documentary, all that you were saying, waiting, watching as time went by and all I said to myself is..." All the pain that he has endured, wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit and he's staying strong keeping his head up and always has that pretty smile on his face...." Your a very strong person with everything you have been through...I cant tell you something that you have heard a million and one times before...I pray that God continues to give you the strength, courage, faithfulness and obedience you showed and continue to show the world...I've only heard bits and pieces of your work, but i would like to read more...It's very inspiring coming from a couragious person like yourself...I'm happy that you are now free and away from that nightmare you were living...I wish you the best of luck in life in whatever you do or wherever you go...remember Mario, what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger...Take Care and God Bless...

Joe Blow

what's up Vato, saw your story on showtime....who's getting paid for that? Anyway, same injustice happened to me but I didn't get the double life. After many years of battle I have me life back free and clear too. The system is gang that is in gear to ruin your life once one is in it's claws! The DA is never interested in justice....all he or she wants to know, do we have enough evidence to convict? It's all about the W. More Ws the Ls and they get they're promotion with pay increase. It's too bad that it comes at the cost of young lives, for the most part. Watching the documentary was like watch Rocky for the first time, great story, great documentary, great outcome. Funny thing is we probably know each other, all my cousins went to Cathdreal, I went to La Salle........stay up homie!

Guy Nohrenberg

I just saw the documentary on your suffering Mario. It is quite impressive how you stayed strong over not just one or two years, but 12 years of incarceration for a crime you didn't commit. It is also telling that God himself sent a woman to you to stay by your side and fight for you, dedicating herself to you as her cause and mission. It is most impressive. I do hope you avoid any associations that would get you into trouble again. I do also hope that your career endeavors lead you into either the field of acting of law. I'm confident, that a man with your drive will be quite successful. Don't give into sin. Stay Strong. Endure.

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