criminal justice reform
Petition to The Governor of Oklahoma & Pardon and Parole Board
Julius Jones is innocent. Don't let him be executed by the state of Oklahoma.
When Julius Jones was 19-years-old, he was convicted of a murder he says he did not commit. I need your help to save his life. Julius has lived on death row for almost 20 years, and is held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. He is allowed one hour of sunlight a day, and three showers a week. Every minute we wait to take action, Julius is suffering. Every second that goes by brings Julius closer to being executed for a crime he didn’t commit. At the time of the crime for which he was convicted, Julius was a 19-year-old student athlete with a promising future, attending the University of Oklahoma on an academic scholarship. It is clear that Julius’ lawyer did not adequately defend him, and that explicit racial bias played a significant role in the process.. For example: Eyewitnesses place Mr. Jones at his parents’ home at the time of the murder, miles away from the crime scene. Mr. Jones’ co-defendant admitted to being involved in the crime and is now free after testifying against Julius. He was heard bragging that he “set Julius up.” Mr. Jones’ co-defendant matches the only eyewitness description of the shooter based on the length of his hair. Newly-discovered evidence shows that at least one juror harbored racial prejudice that influenced his vote to convict and sentence Mr. Jones to death. One juror reported telling the judge about another juror who said the trial was a waste of time and “they should just take the n***** out and shoot him behind the jail.” I learned about Julius’ story through Viola Davis’ docuseries “The Last Defense.” As a person of color and a person of faith, I knew that I couldn’t stand by while an innocent man was killed. I am an Oklahoma taxpayer and the idea that my money will be used to kill Julius makes me sick. Every day an innocent man is forced to sit in solitary confinement, awaiting his death. Recently, a grassroots movement successfully pressured Texas to stay the execution of Rodney Reed, another black man sentenced to death for a crime he says he didn’t commit. If we can save Rodney, then Julius has a chance. Please join me and demand justice for Julius.
Petition to Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Mark Zuckerberg, Lori Trahan, James McGovern, Larry L. Laflamme, Massachusetts State House, Massachusetts State Senate, Massachusetts Governor, Charles D. Baker, Richard E. Neal, Jeanne Shaheen, Margaret Wood Hassan, Martha S. Hennessey
HELP GET MY SON AND OTHERS HOME FROM PRISON (Infected by COVID-19 and became very sick).
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT: We initially created this petition to garner support for my son, who is in federal prison, and who was infected by COVID-19 and became very ill. He was so ill that he needed injections to stop the vomiting so that he didn't become even more dehydrated and have to be rushed to the hospital. His family wants him home and safe. We also wish to seek support for all inmates similarly situated. Our loved ones should not be imprisoned during this pandemic if they have COVID-19 risk factors, and especially if they are a minimum security risk. Many inmates should have never been imprisoned in the first place. The time to make change is now. The public is disgusted at the disgraceful badge that America has pinned to its chest for the most incarcerated person's than any other country. According to the Prison Policy Institute, almost 1 out of every 100 people are incarcerated in our America (that's .7% of our population). Or how about this: 1 out of every 5 prisoners in the WORLD are in the U.S.? How sad and unfortunate. Please do your part by signing and sharing this petition. Please. Our loved ones are depending upon your support. Donations aren't necessary, but any made will go towards my son's legal expenses. INTRODUCTION: My son is at the federal prison camp in Berlin N.H. (a minimum security inmate) serving a 14 year sentence for multiple financial crimes and a drug count. He was recently infected with COVID-19 due to staff not wearing masks, became very ill, and was placed in isolation, where he struggled through the infection, without the ability to communicate with his lawyer or family. My son has several COVID-19 risk factors, including historically low white blood cell count, latent tuberculosis, childhood asthma, high cholesterol (heart disease), and a BMI of 27. Upon being infected with COVID-19 my son became so sick that he needed injections to keep him from vomiting and becoming even more dehydrated. For more than three days, my son had a racing heart rate of 115-120 beats per minute, was vomiting, couldn't eat (the food tasted like chemicals), was constipated, had troubles breathing, was dehydrated and had intense intestinal pain. My son had to suffer through this horrible infection while confined and isolated to a prison cell without the ability to reach out to us, those that love him, or his attorney. This was a terrifying experience for all of us. My son's crimes of conviction do not warrant such punishment. My son's lawyer, Attorney Lori Levinson, has filed for Compassionate Release three times but has been denied by my son's sentencing judge (Judge Timothy Hillman from the District of Massachusetts) on each occasion, despite there being very good reasoning to allow my son to finish his sentence on home confinement. COMPASSIONATE RELEASE REQUESTS AND THE COVID PANDEMIC: Inmates are filing Compassionate Release motions with the Courts due to the risks associated with the COVID pandemic and many judges are sending inmates with COVID risk factors home, especially if they are at a minimum security facility like my son. At my son's institution, there's room for 120 inmates but now there are less than 30 because most judges are sending inmates home who are at-risk. My son's judge is being overly harsh, is refusing to recognize the risk to my son's health and life, and is refusing to mitigate that risk by allowing him to serve the remainder of his sentence on home confinement. Please be sure to read about the discrepancies in Judge Hillman's Compassionate Release rulings below. He denied my son, but granted another inmate his Compassionate Release request. Both were from the same facility. Both were infected with COVID. FROM THE START: When the initial COVID-19 outbreak began, my son was at the federal prison in Ayer, MA. His lawyer filed for Compassionate Release immediately. Judge Hillman acknowledged my son's COVID risk factors, but denied that first request stating the above and that the prison was handling the outbreak adequately. The judge stated that he would reconsider if there were a change in my son's circumstances. A short time later, my son's roommate then became infected by COVID because he was kept working in another unit even though inmates were supposed to be sheltering in place. My son was placed in quarantine for 21 days (24 hours per day in a cell) but luckily tested negative. His lawyer filed for Compassionate Release a second time since circumstances had changed (my son almost became infected by his roomate). Yet, Judge Hillman still denied the motion without a statement of reasons, but said, again, that he'd reconsider if circumstances changed. My son was then transferred to the federal prison camp located in Berlin, N.H. En route to the prison, my son spent an additional 56 days in isolation (24 hours per day in a cell) in preparation for the transfer. After being released to the camp, he became infected when several staff entered the camp unit without masks on. He was placed in isolation for another 21 days (24 hours per day in a cell). As mentioned above, my son became very ill and so his lawyer filed for Compassionate Release a third time, adding in the fact that he had spent over 100 days in isolation (24 hours per day in a cell) by that time. Judge Hillman denied my son Compassionate Release for a third time on January 12, 2021. And again, the judge stated that he'd reconsider if my son's circumstances changed. What other circumstances could change that would be worse than being infected with COVID and becoming seriously ill? Death? Judge Hillman's reasoning makes little sense. My son's lawyer appropriately addressed the conundrum caused by the Judge's "if circumstances change" rulings in her third motion for Compassionate Release: "Insofar as Perry has already contracted the coronavirus while in federal custody, one can only wonder what further “change in circumstances” would sway the Court to grant his motion. Would Perry have to be on a ventilator, gasping for air as a result of a reinfection before this Court chooses to act? Will Perry face the same outcome as the defendant mentioned by the court in United States v. Armstrong, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135313, 2020 WL 4366015, at *3 (S.D.CA. July 30, 2020),where an inmate who had been pronounced “recovered” by the BOP was again hospitalized and died subsequent to his so-called “recovery”?" MY SON'S REASONS FOR REQUESTING COMPASSIONATE RELEASE: My son has several COVID-19 risk factors, he's been kept in isolation (24 hours per day in a cell) for 100 days in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic (considered to be cruel and unusual punishment), his ability to earn time credits has been suspended due to the pandemic, he is considered a minimum security risk (which is why he is in a camp setting), under the PATTERN recidivism risk assessment tool my son is a minimum, he isn't violent, he doesn't have victims in his case, and I need him home to help with my own medical care as I move into retirement. REASONS FOR THE JUDGE'S DENIAL: First, the judge believes that my son hasn't finished enough of his sentence (am I wrong in thinking that time served on a sentence shouldn't be weighed against risks to another person's health or life?) My son has served 46 months of his 168 month sentence, or 30-42% (the range depends on whether one factors in 25 months of automatic good time). Secondly, the judge believes my son is a danger to the public because one of the financial crimes that he was convicted of was apparently committed while he was on probation. In short, one of my son's friends submitted one of his bank statements with my son's mortgage application for an income property so that he could qualify for the loan. The mortgage broker told my son that my son's name had to be on the statement. My son scanned the statement and irrationally (and fraudulently) added his name to the document. Does this make him a danger to the public? Should his health and life be kept in danger for such a crime of conviction? Or, because he did this while on probation? I hope not. Moreover, Judge HILLMAN'S has ignored the fact that my son scores as a minimum on the DOJ's PATTERN recidivism assessment tool. If he scores as a minimum, how can Hillman continue to state that my son is a risk to the public? His position does not make sense from a legal standpoint. CONCLUSION: My son doesn't deserve to suffer any more or to be placed at further risk. It is unfair to him and to those that love him, especially since there are other options. My son could be allowed to serve the remaining part of his sentence on home confinement with me where he could safely distance himself from others. As Judge Hillman pointed out in granting Robert Fuller's Compassionate Release motion (but ignored in denying my son's), this is not something inmates are able to do in "the barracks-style" unit with "shared bathrooms" that he is currently being housed in. We are going to appeal Judge Hillman's most recent denial to the Appeals Court right away. We need your support and as much political and media influence as we can gather. Please sign this petition and share it with as many people as you can. Thank you. Kevin Perry Sr. (and family) DISPARITY IN DIFFERENT JUDGE'S RULINGS FOR COMPASSIONATE RELEASE: Just this past Monday (1/11/21), an inmate named Wender Santos (District of Maine), who was sentenced to 130 months, and who had only completed 36 months, was sent home from my son's institution. Mr. Santos was charged with the same drug crime as my son and had completed only 30% of his sentence also just like my son. Why is there's such disparity in Judge's rulings? This is not just. JUDGE HILLMAN'S DISCREPANCIES IN HIS RULINGS GRANTING ANOTHER INMATE COMPASSIONATE RELEASE BUT NOT MY SON: My son and another inmate, Robert Fuller, were together at the federal prison camp in Berlin, N.H., where both were infected with COVID-19 in October of 2020. Both tested positive and were isolated for 21 days. My son became so ill with the virus that he required injections to control the vomiting so that he didn't become so dehydrated that he'd have to be rushed to the hospital. Mr. Fuller was asymptomatic. Note that Fuller had only a few weeks left on his sentence, while my son has many years remaining. However, I don't believe that this should enable the judge to shift positions in his rulings. Mr. Fuller and my son filed Compassionate Release (CR) motions in front of Judge Hillman, whom both were sentenced by, after their release from isolation. Both requested to be allowed to finish their sentence on home confinement where each could be safe. Judge Hillman granted Mr. Fuller's CR motion on 12/29/20 but denied my son's CR motion on 1/12/21 (about 2 weeks apart). The disparities and inconsistencies in the judge's ruling are glaring and unjust. I've pasted the relevant sections word for word below. You can view the entire ruling on pacer.gov or I can send them to you via email. As you read, keep the following summary of discrepencies (1-4) in mind: 1. REINFECTION POTENTIAL: In his grant of Fuller's CR motion, Judge Hillman writes, "While the United States points out that reinfection is rare, it is certainly possible, and there are no representations that Mr. Fuller should expect to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before his scheduled pre-release placement or release date." In my son's denial, Judge Hillman writes, "He adds that he remains at risk for reinfection, though according to the BOP there are currently 0 inmate COVID-19 cases and 5 staff COVID-19 cases at FCI Berlin." Judge Hillman then states in the next paragraph, "Furthermore, reinfection appears to be rare" and cites a CDC link. DISCREPANCY: This one is just glaring. How can Judge Hillman give credit to reinfection potential in Fuller's ruling but not in my son's? This is just not fair. 2. INCREASED COVID RISK AND AGE: In his grant of Fuller's CR motion, Judge Hillman states that Fuller's age (65) "places him in a higher risk group that is four times more likely to be hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 than individuals who are 18-29 years old" and cites a CDC link (the link listed in Judge Hillman's ruling is incorrect. You have to manually search for the CDC titled page). In my son's denial of his CR motion, Judge Hillman writes, "Mr. Perry’s age (47) does not place him in a higher-risk category." However, the study specifically states that my son's age group places him in a risk group that is "three times more likely to be hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 than individuals who are 18-29 years old." DISCREPANCY: Why did Judge Hillman ignore the risk to my son, but point out the increased risk for Mr. Fuller? 3. RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH IMPRISONMENT: In his grant of Fuller's CR motion, Judge Hillman points out the "substantiated" risk by writing, "Mr. Fuller has already contracted COVID-19 once while in custody at FCI Berlin." Judge Hillman then goes on to describe the living arrangements by stating, "He continues to reside in barracks-style housing in the minimum-security camp at FCI Berlin, where dormitory-style sleeping arrangements and shared bathroom spaces make social distancing and precautionary measures difficult." In my son's denial, Judge Hillman writes, "also find it significant that the COVID-19 situation at FCP Berlin appears to be under control." DISCREPANCY: How can the situation be under control at the Berlin prison camp for my son, but not so in Mr. Fuller's case? 4. SYMPTOMATIC V ASYMPTOMATIC AND RECOVERY: In his grant of Fuller's CR motion, Judge Hillman writes, "Mr. Fuller may have been asymptomatic during his first bout of illness, but there is no guarantee that a second course would be as mild." In my son's denial, Judge Hillman address my son's infection experience as follows: "Mr. Perry has substantially recovered from COVID-19, but continues to experience lingering symptoms including “periodic, lingering headaches, memory loss and “just not feeling like himself.” Judge Hillman then states, "He adds that he remains at risk for reinfection, though according to the BOP there are currently 0 inmate COVID-19 cases and 5 staff COVID-19 cases at FCI Berlin." DISCREPANCY: How can Judge Hillman express concern for an asymptomatic inmate but then express lack of concern for my son who actually became quite ill? How is this fair? ****************************************************** BELOW ARE THE TWO JUDGE HILLMAN'S RULINGS MENTIONED ABOVE ALMOST WORD FOR WORD. 1. US V ROBERT FULLER (NO. 20-40002-TSH) COMPASSIONATE RELEASE GRANT BY JUDGE HILLMAN (12/29/21) Mr. Fuller’s age places him in a higher risk group that is four times more likely to be hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 than individuals who are 18-29 years old (2). Thus, there is substantial evidence that he faces a heightened risk of Serious illness or death if he contracts the virus. This risk is further substantiated by the fact that Mr. Fuller has already contracted COVID-19 once while in custody at FCI Berlin, and that his current work placement involves desanitizing and servicing the inmate transfer bus, which may be another vector for infection. He continues to reside in barracks-style housing in the minimum-security camp at FCI Berlin, where dormitory-style sleeping arrangements and shared bathroom spaces make social distancing and precautionary measures difficult. Mr. Fuller may have been asymptomatic during his first bout of illness, but there is no guarantee that a second course would be as mild. While the United States points out that reinfection is rare, it is certainly possible, and there are no representations that Mr. Fuller should expect to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before his scheduled pre-release placement or release date. I have considered and denied several compassionate release motions from defendants with similar chronic health conditions of like ages, but those defendants were serving longer sentences for violent crimes or non-financial offenses like child pornography with particularly vulnerable victims. Mr. Fuller’s underlying offense was nonviolent, and he has been ordered to make full restitution to the United States. He has served the majority of his sentence. If released, he would return to his family home, where he will be in a better position to protect his health than he would be in group housing settings like FCI Berlin or his scheduled pre-release placement. There is no evidence that he poses a danger to the public that cautions against his release. His release at this Juncture is therefore consistent with the § 3553(a) factors. In sum, I find that, under the circumstances as they exist in this case, Mr. Fuller has established extraordinary and compelling reasons warranting his release under § 3851(c)(1)(A). (2) CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION, COVID-19: PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS: https//www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html 2. US V KEVIN PERRY JR. (NO. 4:17-cr-40010-TS) COMPASSIONATE RELEASE DENIAL BY JUDGE HILLMAN (1/12/21) Since my Order on November 10, 2020 (Docket No. 258), Mr. Perry has substantially recovered from COVID-19, but continues to experience lingering symptoms including “periodic, lingering headaches, memory loss and “just not feeling like himself.” (Docket No. 261 at 3). He adds that he remains at risk for reinfection, though according to the BOP there are currently 0 inmate COVID-19 cases and 5 staff COVID-19 cases at FCI Berlin. BUREAU OF PRISONS COVID-19 CASES: https://www.bop.gov/coronavirus/index.jsp (last accessed Jan. 11, 2021).1. Furthermore, reinfection appears to be rare. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION,REINFECTION WITH COVID-19, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your health/reinfection.html (last accessed Jan. 10, 2021). Finally, Mr. Perry notes that he should be released so that he may live with and care for his ailing father, and that the Court should take into account future potential reductions in his sentence when assessing what proportion of that sentence he has already served, including good time credit from programming that was cancelled due to COVID-19, his eligibility for a pre-release placement, and his pending motion to vacate his underlying conviction. I have already considered factors including his prior course of COVID-19 and his prolonged time in isolation due to the BOP’s preventative measures to reduce the spread of the disease throughout the prison population. I have also previously recognized that Mr. Perry is at an increased risk for a severe course of COVID-19 due to leukopenia, a shortage of white blood cells. Mr. Perry’s age does not place him in a higher-risk category. At present, Mr. Perry has served about 30% of his sentence. I cannot credit the results of Mr. Perry’s motion to vacate towards my assessment of how much of his sentence he has served, as the motion is still pending. Furthermore, I cannot credit Mr. Perry for good time credit that he has not earned, though I understand that COVID-19 has forced the BOP to cancel many educational and recidivism reduction programs that Mr. Perry may have otherwise taken advantage of. I have considered his likely future eligibility for a pre-release placement or home confinement, as well as his projected release date in the Sentencing Computation Monitoring Data provided by counsel. (Docket No. 268-2). I also find it significant that the COVID-19 situation at FCP Berlin appears to be under control; Defendant’s counsel points to media reports that the number of cases in nearby Berlin, New Hampshire have spiked due to an outbreak at nearby state prisons, not FCP Berlin or FCI Berlin. (Docket No. 263). As stated in my prior Orders denying Mr. Perry’s motions for compassionate release, the Defendant committed the underlying offense while on supervised release for a different drug offense. I have considered the letter submitted by Mr. Perry’s father and Mr. Perry’s PATTERN score but remain concerned that he represents a danger to the public. (Docket No. 270-1 (SEALED)). Because Mr. Perry has not, under the circumstances presented here, demonstrated that he meets the requirements to obtain a compassionate release, his motion is denied, without prejudice to the filing of a further motion should there be a change in his circumstances. (1) Mr. Perry is assigned to FCP Berlin (current population 34 inmates). The BOP COVID-19 Case Tracker does not provide separate COVID-19 case tallies for FCP Berlin and FCI Berlin, the larger, medium-security facility (current inmate population 580 inmates).
Petition to Dennis Ward
Support Pascal's Way for Daniel's Future
Please Give a Young Man a Path to Redemption and a Future! On May 7, 2020, our family suffered an unspeakable tragedy. After years of struggling with serious mental illness, my 17-year-old son Daniel Weisberger had a psychotic break, attacking me and his brother, Pascal, and is now charged with Pascal’s death. Despite this terrible outcome, Daniel greatly loved both his brother and me, and is utterly heartbroken by Pascal’s loss, wishing every second of each day during the past seven months he has been in jail that his brother were still with us. This tragic reality is the result of Daniel being subjected to years of physical and emotional cruelty, behavior that went on for much of his childhood, as well as a mental health system inadequate to help him overcome the serious psychological issues caused by the abuse. Despite this well-documented history, last January multiple state agencies responsible for Daniel’s welfare made the egregious decision to place him back with his abuser and failed to properly safeguard that he would be treated appropriately this time. The consequence of these actions was Daniel being traumatized by months of emotional and physical abuse and neglect, leading to the precipitous deterioration in his mental well-being, which ultimately triggered the actions alleged to have caused his brother’s death. Despite Daniel’s age and the obvious role that child abuse and mental illness played in this tragedy, the Monroe County State Attorney’s office has charged Daniel as an adult and intends for him to spend decades in prison, essentially eliminating his chance for a future. Pascal’s death was a tragedy beyond comprehension, but long-term imprisonment for Daniel will only lead to the lives of both boys being destroyed, when one can still be saved. Unfortunately, despite the wishes of our family and I, the legal system has not been pursuing a fair outcome for Daniel. Though a victim in the case, I strongly believe that Daniel being denied a future is unacceptable, and as someone who knew Pascal better than anyone, I am confident he would feel the same. That is why I’m asking for your help to provide Daniel with the best legal assistance possible, to press for a resolution that will acknowledge that he is a mentally ill child in need of long-term mental health treatment, not incarceration. The push for criminal justice reform and an improved mental health system have garnered increasing focus around our country. Improvements in these areas are particularly necessary with juveniles, who differ from adults in many ways, including their level of brain development and ability to make appropriate decisions. Children charged with a crime deserve to be treated in a manner that acknowledges their stage of development and emphasizes treatment and rehabilitation, especially when mental health is a contributing factor. Even serious crimes should be handled in light of these factors: A case in point is a noteworthy example years ago in Miami that was successfully resolved and had a number of approaches relevant and appropriate for Daniel. See https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1989-09-10-8903020457-story.html and https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1993-10-03-9309170554-story.html for further information. As a father, I have always loved my boys equally, and while I continue to grieve Pascal’s loss, I strongly believe that Daniel is a good person who should be helped, not incarcerated. Daniel didn’t deserve to suffer the trauma of abuse and mental illness, and the truth is that no one loved Pascal more than Daniel, or is more devastated by the reality of his loss. Daniel should have received better help to overcome the struggles he has faced, but was instead placed in situations that further undermined his emotional and psychological well-being. The past can’t be undone, but Daniel deserves our care and support in the present. We need to ensure this time he gets the help necessary to provide a way through this terrible tragedy, and to the positive life that Pascal would want for him. To support Pascal's way (https://www.facebook.com/PascalsWay.org/ )for Daniel's future, a path to redemption and a meaningful life for his brother, instead of one wasted in prison, please voice this message to the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office by insisting that: (1) Daniel, who is 17, be charged as a juvenile, instead of as an adult. (2) Daniel’s background with mental illness and as a victim of child abuse be strongly considered in the case against him (3) The case be resolved through a focus on mental health treatment and rehabilitation If you care about Daniel's future and would also be willing to help provide him with an effective legal defense please follow this link to contribute: https://gogetfunding.com/support-pascals-way-for-daniels-future/
Petition to U.S. Senate, Kamala D. Harris, U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, Democratic National Committee, Republican National Committee
Let's Pass Police Reform-Support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act!
Today, right now, we have a chance for change. We have a chance to make police reform REAL--and to do that, we need to make sure that the United State Senate knows we haven't spent a summer in protest and centuries in turmoil only to be placated with a piece of watered-down legislation that makes "suggestions" where we, the American people, want LAWS. On June 8, 2020, House and Senate Democrats came together to answer that call and introduce the Justice in Policing Act. This is a multi-clause bill created to drastically reduce the death and violence brought on by excessive and unjust police brutality. It's what we need in this historic moment. The Justice in Policing Act PROHIBITS AND BANS:-all racial, religious, and other discriminatory profiling-all chokeholds and carotid holds-no-knock warrants in drug-related cases The Justice in Policing Act LIMITS:-the use of deadly force (by requiring officers to prove that force necessary)-the transfer of military-grade weapons to state and local law enforcement The Justice in Policing Act ENABLES:-the training of law enforcement officials so that they recognize implicit bias and avoid all racial, religious, and other discriminatory profiling-the creation of a national police misconduct registry-that federal, uniformed, police offers wear body cameras-that state and local law enforcement use existing funds to ensure the use of body cameras-that all marked federal vehicles have dashboard cameras-that lynching and other hate crimes be regarded as federal crimes The Justice in Policing Act ENABLES:-the fair prosecution of reckless police action—in criminal AND civil court On June 17, Senate Republicans introduced a counter-bill...and asked their one African-American Senator to function as its face. It's even called the 'Justice Act'; as though these things could distract us from the fact that this counter-bill is not nearly as strong, as sweeping, or as necessary as the Justice in Policing Act. Tell YOUR Senator and Congressional Representative, today, that this is NOT the time to make police reform a partisan issue. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Atatiana Jefferson, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, and countless others are NOT opportunities to "score" political points. We, the American people, Democrat and Republican alike, are standing up to demand REAL police reform RIGHT NOW. Our police force is sworn to protect and serve the people. Let's hold them to that promise. Let's pass REAL police reform. Sign this petition to get your senators and representatives to support the Justice in Policing Act. ALSO: Visit tcatherinematthews.wixsite.com/letspasspolicereform for more information on how YOU can do even more to help pass police reform!
Petition to Ralph Northam, Kelly Thomasson, Justin Fairfax
Remorse through Actions: Incarcerated Veteran Working Hard to EARN your Support
Incarcerated Veteran Asking Governor Ralph Northam for a Second Chance at Freedom through Executive Clemency I'm posting this petition for my son, MarQui Clardy, Sr., who has been incarcerated for the past 13 years, and is humbly asking for everyone's support in his efforts to be granted a second chance at his freedom. There are many reasons why we believe MarQui should be given a second chance; among them is how hard he has worked - and continues to work - to show remorse for his poor decisions by constantly striving to be better and do better. First, I’ll start with some background information on MarQui's character and the circumstances that led to his incarceration. In September 2001, MarQui joined the U.S. Navy where he served as an IT. He was assigned as a Ship's Self-Defense Force (SSDF) team leader which consisted of specialized weapons, combat, and antiterrorism training, and in 2003, he was deployed overseas where he spent some time in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf for Operation Iraq Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Shortly after returning stateside, MarQui began experiencing some behavioral deviations, hallucinations, and a suicidal preoccupation. His command sent him to a psychologist who diagnosed him with Adjustment Disorder, noting that MarQui had a "major impairment in [his] thinking and judgement, manifested by inflexible thinking." Despite this diagnosis, MarQui was given no further evaluation or treatment before being discharged from service. Fast-forward to 2006, which is when MarQui's life began spiraling downward. After losing his car in a flash flood, he lost his job due to a lack of transportation. Unemployment lead to him being evicted from his apartment after falling behind on his rent, and having his class registration at Old Dominion University paused after he defaulted on his tuition payment. Being unemployed and homelessness (and desperate), MarQui made the poor decision to commit three robberies. He took electronics from people he met online, which he planned to sell for enough money to get himself back on his feet. However, within a week he was arrested for those crimes. Despite MarQui being a college student and a veteran who had no criminal record - and the fact that no one was physically harmed in either offense - the judge sentenced him to 33 years in prison. MarQui has taken full responsibility for his actions; however, his mental disorder / impairment likely played a role in his decision making. He was diagnosed with "impaired thinking and judgement," which had gone untreated ever since his military discharge, and may have manifest in a number of ways. MarQui's background shows that he had never been a criminally-inclined person. So it is safe to assume that with proper mental health treatment, MarQui might have exercised better judgement in finding a solution to his financial problems. Remorse for his actions, and the harm he's caused others, drives MarQui to work extremely hard bettering himself. In a heartfelt apology letter he wrote to the victims (which is posted on www.wesupportmarqui.com he named THEM as his motivation for striving to become the best version of himself that he can be. As such, he has made an admirable list of educational and rehabilitative accomplishments throughout his incarceration, including: * Completing classes through Washington and Lee University in 2015 and 2016; * Completing VA DOC's Computer Concepts / Business Software Applications course, and becoming a certified Data Entry Clerk, Administrative Clerk, PC Operator, and Word Processor Operator; * Completing personal rehabilitative programs through Northstar Community and Bar None / Willow Creek Association; * Completing faith-based courses through Emmaus Correspondence School, Crossroads Prison Ministries, Prisoners 4 Christ Outreach Ministries, Bon Air Baptist Church, Gospel Express Evangelical School, and Prison Mission Association; * Enrolling in all of the requisite DOC rehabilitative programs; * Remaining free of institutional infractions for over ten years; * Maintaining employment, including as an academic tutor where he helps other offenders obtain their GEDs; * Remaining an active member of veterans support groups that help military veterans cope with mental health issues and teach about the benefits available to them through Veterans Affairs; * Publishing his own novel and writing several social justice articles that have been published by Hamilton College, the Virginia Prison Justice Network, the Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee, Tocsin Magazine, and more; and * Working with Interfaith Action for Human Rights, which is an organization that works to shift the focus of incarceration from retribution to rehabilitation. MarQui writes monthly articles on important prison topics to help give advocates a more clear understanding of solitary confinement, medical treatment, and general day-to-day life on the inside, and IAHR publishers them in their newsletter. [Links to these newsletters are included in the petition updates.] Because of the MarQui's sincere dedication to personal growth - as well as all he has accomplished to show his remorse - Redemptive Life Foundation has filed a clemency petition on his behalf, asking Governor Ralph Northam to reduce his prison sentence to a more fair and proportionate one which will allow him to return home to his family. But he needs your support, so we are asking you to help him receive the second chance that so many believe he has earned by signing this petition and sharing it with others. Thank you all in advance. God-willing, my son will be home soon.
Petition to President Donald Trump/, USPardon.Attorney , President Donald Trump
Clemency for my son, Darrell Frazier.
My name is Joyce Johnson, the mother of federal prisoner,Darrell Frazier. The problem that I want to solve is that my son is serving a life sentence with no parole for a drug conspiracy. He has served 29 1/2 years thus far, which I believe he has paid his debt to society. I am putting up this petition support page to ask President Donald J Trump, to grant my son executive clemency to reduce my son's life sentence to time served and show him mercy. Since being incarcerated Darrell founded The Joe Johnson Tennis Foundation a non-profit foundation in 2010, which I (his mother) is CEO. The foundation itself teaches 100 to 200 children per week through summer camps at local recreation centers in Chattanooga, TN. It begins the first week in June through the first week of August. What an inspiration it would be to have my son tell his story as he teaches tennis to the children within the community. Clemency would give him the opportunity to take over as head of this foundation and help me his mother due to my recent disability. Clemency would also bring back cohesiveness within the family which has been lost due his incarceration. Now I want to ask all my family members and friends for support of this petition as well as my son's friends and associates to sign and support this petition as well. May God continue to bless everyone who signs this executive clemency support petition. Sincerely, Joyce Johnson - mother of Darrell Frazier
Petition to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, U.S. House of Representatives, Stephanie Murphy, Val Demings, Darren Soto
Establish a Police Officers' Training Corps (POTC).
We must ensure that law enforcement officers in the United States of America are people who understand the law and desire to maintain the peace, not those who desire power and would exploit it. Abuse of the civil rights of Citizens of the United States of America is criminal behavior and an enormous problem for our society. The 2006 FBI report, “White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement,” made it abundantly clear that white supremacists are infiltrating law enforcement. Recent revelations that law enforcement officers took part in the January 6th insurrection against the United States Government make the need for change ever more clear. Of those many who are not guilty of sedition or racism, still they are largely unprepared and unqualified to handle many social and mental health emergencies to which they are called upon to respond. We need legislation that requires a meaningful education to become a police officer: The United States Government will match state funds for instituting bachelor’s level education in criminal justice at land grant schools and/or other public, regionally accredited Universities. This education shall be free to students via a scholarship to those who enroll in a Police Officer in Training Corp (P.O.T.C.). The curriculum will be interdisciplinary, consisting of coursework in Law (criminal and civil) and Social Sciences (chiefly Psychology and Sociology) taught by instructors with terminal degrees in their respective fields. An Ethics component will be required as well. P.O.T.C. training will include ancillary Physical Training and coursework on Policing, Criminal Investigation, Tactics, etc. taught by qualified faculty. The four-year scholarship could be extended with the same conditions to a 5-year scholarship to double major in in a relevant science (chemistry, forensic anthropology, computer science) or a social science OR for a 5th year, accelerated master’s program in a needed field. The applicant must agree to accept a commission to serve as an officer of the law for a law enforcement agency either in the state of the University or for the Federal Government. The requirement for service in return for the scholarship will be no less than 5 years. In an advanced society, police must be intimately acquainted with the law, understand how to deal with and understand criminals as well as victims, and grasp the structures that exist that lead to criminal behavior. Current officers may be grandfathered in, and there are many good officers serving now. Both current officers and the new, college educated force shall be required to earn Continuing Education Program credits. Experienced officers should also be given the opportunity to attend P.O.T.C. programs with credit for Experiential Learning or CLEP. The “code” of always protecting bad officers must end. A proper education and rigorous curriculum will attract better candidates and dissuade those who would rather seek the easy path.
Petition to Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele, Montgomery County Commissioners
Do Not Punish Children As Adults!
DA Steele: The undersigned residents of Montgomery County stand opposed to the inhumane treatment of 16 year old Victor Bell Jr. Not only is Victor, a minor, being charged as an adult, but he is also being held in an adult facility despite being only 16 years old. Additionally, Victor's name has been inappropriately released to the public through the media. We demand that Victor be treated as the juvenile that he is. Treating minors as adults is barbaric. Thus, Victor should be moved out of adult jail immediately, and he should not be tried as an adult for this tragic, but accidental, incident. We grieve for the victim's family. We grieve for our community. But, we do not want another life taken from us. Sincerely, Montgomery County Residents and Voters