Grant clemency to Adolfo Davis
  • Petitioned Governor Pat Quinn

This petition was delivered to:

Governor Pat Quinn

Grant clemency to Adolfo Davis

    1. Petition by

      Adolfo Davis

      Los Angeles, CA

Adolfo Davis is thirty-six years old and has been in prison for over twenty years. He was barely 14 years old when he was ordered to participate in what he believed at first would be a robbery. For that mistake, he has never stepped foot outside of prison since. His mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole means he never will.

Circumstances. Growing up in extreme poverty, and without adequate support from his family or the social services agencies that documented but failed to meet his desperate cries for help, Adolfo was drawn to the “false family” that gang life offered. When two older gang members instructed him to participate in a crime, he went along as was expected of junior members. The two elders opened fired in a crowded apartment, killing two people. Adolfo did not pull the trigger or kill anyone.

Youthfulness. Adolfo, as a fourteen-year-old boy, lacked the developmental maturity to understand what was asked of him and the likely consequences of his decision. Despite this, he was tried as an adult and sentenced to die in prison. This sentence, which the United States is alone in the world in imposing, ignores the reality that people do change and that children are not simply smaller versions of adults.

Rehabilitation and Responsibility. Today, Adolfo is a different person than he was at fourteen. He has come to accept responsibility and feel remorse for his actions and decisions as a child. He works, has earned his high school diploma and takes college courses. Most important to Adolfo, he mentors troubled teenagers facing circumstances like he did through the Precious Blood Ministry. Adolfo also wrote a book of poems entitled "Thoughts of a Broken Child," excerpts of which are included in various publications.

Adolfo's capacity for change has always been clear. After only two and a half years in juvenile detention. Addolfo was described as a “model” person and “one of the best students” by his teachers. His therapist in the Illinois Department of Corrections who worked with him years later as a young adult described Adolfo as remarkable for positivity and big heart.

Rarity. Adolfo is only 1 of 4 fourteen year olds to have received a sentence of life without parole in Illinois, and 1 of 77 in the country.

Adolfo deserves a second chance. His sentence is now void - in July 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life without parole sentences for youth are uncontitutional. Yet prosecutors in Illinois and other states are fighting any form for relief for Adolfo and others like him who received a mandatory life without parole sentence. Insist that the Governor grant him clemency now!

 

**Join me on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/adolfo.davis.9

and twitter at @FreeAdolfo

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Adolfo wins a resentencing hearing, but the fight continues

      Adolfo Davis
      Petition Organizer

      On December 28, 2012, Adolfo's sentence of life without parole was overturned. The Court of Appeals found that it was unconstitutional to sentence the 14-year-old to mandatory life without parole, and ordered a resentencing hearing to consider his age and other mitigating factors. Still, the State continues to fight even the chance to present mitigation, and the trial court could reimpose life without parole. Please continue to support reconsideration of Adolfo's sentence as our fight continues.

    2. U.S. Supreme Court banned mandatory life without parole for youth in June

      Adolfo Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Adolfo's sentence is now unconstitutional and void because no judge considered his young age, background and the details of his offense in imposing the mandatory sentence of life without parole for his crime. Yet his lawyers are still facing enormous hurdles in even getting a new sentencing hearing. Insist that the Governor act now and commute his sentence! Pass on his petition! He has served enough time for his crime.

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • JOYCE SMOTHERS CHICAGO, IL
      • 9 months ago

      truth

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Terry Stevens LOMA LINDA, MO
      • 9 months ago

      This person was a child when sent to prison way to long for the crime when people who murder, rob and kidnap other people get far less for a far more serious offense.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Teresa Williams EAGLE RIVER, AK
      • 9 months ago

      I spent all but the last 2.5 years as an Illinois resident and I am against life time incarceration for juveniles

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ralph Tate CARTERVILLE, IL
      • 9 months ago

      He has served enough time already for being in the wrong place and the wrong time!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • KELLY LUTTRELL LANDOVER, MD
      • 10 months ago

      I was once a juvenile offender who has been rehabilitated. Everyone deserves a second chance.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.