Cobb County GA: Release Grieving Mother of Hit-and-Run & Install a Crosswalk
  • Petitioned Cobb County Transportation Department

This petition was delivered to:

Cobb County Transportation Department
Cobb County Commissioner District 1
Helen Goreham
Solicitor General, Cobb County
Barry Morgan
State Court of Cobb County
Honorable Kathryn Tanksley
Georgia Governor

Cobb County GA: Release Grieving Mother of Hit-and-Run & Install a Crosswalk

    1. Eliza Harris
    2. Petition by

      Eliza Harris

      Orlando, FL

  1.  
  2.   
June 2013

Victory

After a years-long effort, Cobb County prosectors dropped the vehicular homicide charge brought against Raquel Nelson, the grieving mom who lost her son after the pair were hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street. More than 160,000 people signed this petition asking the Cobb County Court to drop the charge, amplifying the voices of support for Raquel and her family, and ultimately leading to her retrial.

Eliza Harris, who started the petition says:

"I'm thrilled and relieved to learn that Raquel's fight for justice is finally over. I started this petition because I was appalled at the lack of compassion of the prosecutors and because, as someone who works in transportation, I knew the factors resulting in her son's tragic death were well beyond her control. I'm heartened that so many of you were willing to stand with me and tell the Cobb County justice system that prosecuting the victim is unacceptable and to tell Raquel that we believed in her and we have her back. She was also standing up for all the victims who have been blamed for tragedies, perpetrated by a system designed to fail anyone not in a car.  

"Now that Raquel is safe, we have to remember, as she so frequently reminded us, who this is really about. Her son A.J. is lost to this world and unlike Raquel's prosecution that cannot be reversed. Over four thousand pedestrians die each year in crashes with cars. Another 70,000 are injured. Many of these crashes could be prevented by common sense changes to how we design our roads. I'm encouraged to hear that Georgia DOT is re-evaluating the bus stop where this tragedy took place and I hope that they will increase their attention to pedestrian safety statewide. They were ranked 10th worst state for pedestrians by Transportation for America in 2011.

I'm glad to hear that Raquel is interested in continuing to stand up for the right of her fellow citizens to engage in the simplest of activities, crossing the street, without risking their safety or freedom. I would encourage everyone to consider joining or following one of organizations fighting on a daily basis to make our streets safer such as the Alliance for Biking and Walking, The Congress for the New Urbanism, Transportation for America or a local bike/walk organization in your community like the metro Atlanta nonprofit, PEDS, that supported Raquel in her struggle. The fight for justice is over, but the fight for safe streets goes on. "

UPDATE: Raquel Nelson has been offered the opportunity for a new trial to clear her name. Let's continue to support her until she is proved innocent of these charges in her son's death. http://news.change.org/stories/raquel-nelson-offered-new-trial-following-outpouring-of-grassroots-support

Raquel Nelson of metro Atlanta faces up to 3 years in jail after her child broke from her side and ran in front of a driver who may have been impaired. It was outrageous that a jury convicted her. It is more outrageous that the Solicitor prosecuted her to begin with. 

http://t4america.org/blog/2011/07/18/prosecuting-the-victim-absolving-the-perpetrators/

The original article: http://www.ajc.com/news/cobb/pedestrian-convicted-of-vehicular-1014879.html

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Homicide charge dropped; Danger to pedestrians persists

      Eliza Harris
      Petition Organizer

      Transportation For America " Raquel Nelson: Homicide charge dropped, but the real crime persists

      Raquel Nelson: Homicide charge dropped, but the real crime persists Three years after being convicted of vehicular homicide for crossing the street with her young son, Raquel Nelson today finally was freed of the looming threat of three years in jail.

    2. Vehicular homicide charge dropped against Cobb mom

      Eliza Harris
      Petition Organizer
      Homicide charge dropped against jaywalking Cobb mom

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution A Cobb County woman whose 4-year-old son was killed as she crossed the street with him won't be criminally charged in the toddler's death. On Thursday, Raquel Nelson agreed to pay a $200 fine for jaywalking as part of a deal the Cobb County Solicitor's office made not to prosecute the more serious vehicular homicide charge.

    3. Three Ways to Continue Your Support for Raquel Nelson

      Corinne Ball
      Petition Organizer

      Author: Loretta Williams, aunt of Raquel Nelson
      To the wonderful supporters of Raquel Nelson
      On April 10, 2010, after celebrating a birthday, Raquel Nelson and her three children missed a bus. They arrived home after dark. What happened next has now...

    4. A new trial? Raquel Nelson announces her decision on the Today Show

      Corinne Ball
      Petition Organizer

      On deciding to opt for a retrial of her case, Raquel says, “With this whole process being very lonely up until about the last three weeks, when it became much more public — that's helped a tremendous amount." Follow the link to watch the segment.

    5. Raquel Nelson on Fox and Friends discussing Judge's Decision / Petitions

      Eliza Harris
      Petition Organizer

      Raquel Nelson appeared on Fox and Friends to discussing the decision in her case. She also mentioned the petition circulating in support of her and their role in her trial. See the video at the link.

    6. Reached 150,000 signatures
    7. Raquel Nelson is back on the Today Show talking about the judge's decision

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      She's relieved, and says, "This process is not over yet, but there will be an end." For today, she can be happy.

      "The outpouring of support has really been excellent throughout this situation," she says to everyone who signed to help her.

    8. Raquel Nelson is given chance for a new trial by the judge!

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Amazing outcome. The judge has made the "unusual decision" to offer Raquel the choice between a new trial to clear her name or a 12 month probation. Raquel is conferring with her lawyers about what her choice will be.

    9. Raquel's sentencing hearing is TODAY

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      An amazing 130,000 people have signed this petition in her support. Read more about her plea for compassion in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

    10. Reached 100,000 signatures
    11. Statement from Raquel's aunt to signers of this petition

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Read a statement of thanks and encouragement to petition signers at the link above

    12. Watch Raquel Nelson and her aunt Loretta Williams on the Today show

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Raquel tells her story in a moving segment before her sentencing hearing tomorrow. It is a tragedy if this mother is punished.

    13. Reached 50,000 signatures
    14. Today Show appearance is 8 AM EST

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Raquel Nelson is scheduled to appear tomorrow morning on NBC's "Today Show" to speak about her case. Be sure to watch!

    15. Reached 40,000 signatures
    16. Raquel on NBC's "Today Show" tomorrow

      Corinne Ball
      Petition Organizer

      Raquel Nelson is scheduled to appear tomorrow morning on NBC's "Today Show" to speak about her case. Be sure to watch!

    17. Reached 15,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Shannon Baden BLANCHARD, OK
      • over 2 years ago

      BULLSH*T

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Edward Bucci PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • over 2 years ago

      Is it me but since returning home from Iraq i see more good, innocent people being locked up for BS non violent crimes while the criminals, thieves, n murders get free rides!!?? WTF is going on with this country!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • James Hoffman FREMONT, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Pardon this mother, allow the healing process.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Dawn Land MARIETTA, GA
      • over 2 years ago

      Cobb Countys justice practices suck. Convicted this mourning mom is proof!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Matthew Przybylowski VALLEY CENTER, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Outrageous. Enough said.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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