Commute the 25 Year Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Michael Giles

Commute the 25 Year Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Michael Giles

    1. Phyllis Giles
    2. Petition by

      Phyllis Giles

      Winston, GA

Three years ago my son Michael was attacked outside of a club in Tallahassee, FL. His attacker admitted in open court that he attacked Michael with no provocation.

Michael's attacker admitted he was angry that someone had interrupted his dance, and wanted to hurt the next person he saw. That next person standing to the side, not partaking in the violence, was Michael. His attacker was not fighting alone, state witnesses testified that there were between 30-40 people involved in the brawl. The state’s own witnesses also testified that the aggressor instigated several other fights that night, and was acting erratically and violently. His attacker’s own friend testified she was worried the aggressor would kill or seriously injure someone. In comparison, state witnesses testified that Michael, was calmly standing to the side, and did nothing to provoke the attack.

My husband and I are proud military veterans, with a combined 40 years of service, and we were proud when our son also chose to serve his country. Michael completed a tour in Iraq and Kuwait and was looking forward to furthering his career in the military, but now all of that has changed. We believe that we have raised a good man. He had no prior criminal offenses, no history of violence, and was a outstanding father and Airman. So we do not understand how the state of Florida could sentence him to a mandatory 25 years for defending himself.

Michael has been trained to analyze threats and believed at that moment he needed to defend himself. He realized that his attacker and his attacker’s friends had the upper-hand in numbers and he could have been seriously injured or killed. In his desperate attempt to gain the opportunity to get to his feet and flee, he fired his legally registered weapon and accidentally struck, but did not seriously injure, his attacker in the leg. His only intention to returning to the vehicle was in hopes of finding his friends and leaving, all the while trying to avoid the aggressors in the crowd. While waiting for his friends at the car he became uncomfortable waiting alone, and was worried he would be singled out because he had no one with him. The parking lot where they parked was extremely small and various groups were walking between the cars arguing and yelling. He decided at that point it might be best to try to find his friends and convince them to leave as soon as possible. He did not return to the club and did not interact directly with anyone; he was simply defending himself in an extremely hostile environment.

Despite overwhelming evidence from state witnesses that Michael was attacked first and without provocation, the fact that he did not continue firing, and removed himself from the immediate area as soon as he could. Michael was not offered a plea from the state. He was thus charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon causing bodily harm & sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison. His Judge stated “Frankly, I think the 25-year mandatory is overly harsh based on the facts of this case, but that’s what the law requires I do and I intend to follow the law.” The officer who prepared Michael's sentencing recommendation, recommended Michael be given probation due to her investigation. She felt that Michael would be an ideal candidate for probation, thus saving tax payers money. The state rejected her professional recommendation and pushed for the 25 years.
Michael is a good man, he is honest, he is hard working and through all of this he is our rock and confidence we need to keep fighting. He is afraid that he will miss his children grow up.

Our family just does not understand how a man who proudly fought for his country, and spent 6 years proudly serving as a U.S Airman, could lose the right to live his life for defending himself. The fact is, Michael was attacked, and he was afraid the group fighting would kill him. He fired his legally registered weapon to gain the opportunity to run, from somewhere he had the legal right to be. His attacker not only attacked him but he admitted to attacking others that night.
This sentence has destroyed our family and we hope you will sign this petition to ask Governor Rick Scott and the Clemency Board to commute the sentence of Michael Giles. 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 100,000 signatures
    2. Help for Michael

      Phyllis Giles
      Petition Organizer

      We have been receiving numerous requests from the public on what people can do to help. The outpour of your support has been GREATLY appreciated! For anyone that wants to help further, please contact anyone on this list (or any media outlet you know of) to help us get Michael's story heard.

      storyideas@cnn.com
      tips@gawker.com
      newstips@firstcoastnews.com
      News 13 Orlando - (407) 513-1313 or newsdesk@mynews13.com
      WFLA Tampa - 1-800-348-WFLA or news@wfla.com

      You can visit this page to email the governor and let him know why you feel Michael does not deserve a 25 year sentence for defending himself.

      http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/

    3. Reached 50,000 signatures
    4. Clarification

      Phyllis Giles
      Petition Organizer

      We just wanted to clarify a few things in an effort to be completely transparent with Michael’s supporters.

      - Everything written in this petition was pulled from the original court transcripts, witness testimony and Michael’s recollection of what happened that night.
      - The Judge did not want to sentence Michael to the 25 years and stated more than once on the record that he was only doing so because he was forced by law to carry out the sentence.
      - News reports from the Tallahassee area reported the day after that Michael shot three individuals including his attacker, in an article that was written before the police completed their investigation. In court it was found that this was not the case and he was acquitted of the two other charges. The only bullet found from his gun was lodged in a wall over 100 ft. away.

    5. We thank you for your support, please keep sharing.

      Phyllis Giles
      Petition Organizer

      We thank the public for all of their support in signing Michael's petition. We ask everyone to continue to share his petition with your friends and family. You can find out the latest news and more about Michael at http://www.justiceformike.com/

      Justice for Mike

      U.S. Airman. Father. Son. U.S. Airman. Father. Son. All we want is justice for Michael. While on active duty with the Unites States Air Force and stationed in Tampa, Florida, in 2010 Michael Giles, a native of Atlanta, Georgia was invited by a friend to a party in Tallahassee, Florida.

    6. Reached 17,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Daniel Freeman RALEIGH, NC
      • 2 days ago

      Zimmerman walks free when Giles does not. I'm dissapointed in our justice system, and hope Giles can be reunited with his family outside of jail, where he belongs.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lynn Williams ATLANTA, GA
      • 6 days ago

      He was acting in self defense.Laws need to be changed.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tonya Miller DA, NC
      • 8 days ago

      This is just WRONG!!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • shawnique cotton GILBERT, AZ
      • 9 days ago

      I really would like to se Michael, I hope your asking the President to consider Michael for clemecy, He definately would be a candidate in my book. Not sure how many men&women will be granted it, I was shot ¶lyzed inside a club many years ago. The assailant received 13 years only 5 of those years were for harming myself along with two other women, One bullet injured three woman, The law is tricky business it plays games with many folks lifes as well as prevails at time. Free Michael Giles

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Karen Williams HOUSTON, TX
      • 13 days ago

      Because of the unjust laws in this country, that's primarily set up for White Europeans. We have to change our thoughts and opinions of race . And become the America for all.Change is coming .I am a 44 year old moderate who is conservative who is liberal about certain things. My core value is to be fair and not look at the glass half nor half full, because, some things really are that simple. Law makers are looking for 20 something black males to have the same understanding without the proper guidance and social support of their European counterparts. Change your your ways then you'll be able to change thoughts. Your minds and hearts will truly change.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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