Release Russell Maroon Shoats from Solitary Confinement
  • Petitioned PA DOC Secretary, John Wetzel; SCI Greene Superintendent, Louis Folino

This petition was delivered to:

PA DOC Secretary, John Wetzel; SCI Greene Superintendent, Louis Folino

Release Russell Maroon Shoats from Solitary Confinement

    1. Petition by

      Bret Grote

      pittsburgh, PA

Petition to End the Solitary Confinement Torture of Russell Maroon Shoats

Russell Maroon Shoats (#AF-3855), a 68-year-old prisoner held at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Greene in southwestern Pennsylvania, has been kept in solitary confinement for more than 21 years. He has been unable to hold his children or grandchildren or interact with others in a humane setting during this time, despite not having violated prison rules in two decades. He has suffered severe psychological anguish and his physical health has been worsened by the stress of prolonged isolation.

Maroon has spent nearly 40 years within the Pennsylvania prison system, 30 of those in solitary confinement. During this time he has earned a reputation amongst prison staff and prisoners as a leader because of his consistent support for human rights inside and outside the walls. Prison officials claim that Mr. Shoats is a security threat due to past escapes and attempts, though new evidence has surfaced that his continued solitary confinement is based on secret and fraudulent evidence of a non-existent plan to takeover a prison in the 1980s. Prison officials also identified Maroon’s political associations as a basis for continuing to torture him via solitary confinement.

We are distressed and outraged that an elderly man who is nearing his 70th birthday continues to be treated in such a cruel manner based on his constitutionally-protected support for human rights and in retaliation for his expressing political opinions disfavored by the prison administration. Not having committed an infraction in more than two decades reveals that Russell Shoatz is more than ready to re-enter the general prison population.

We, the undersigned, are calling on prison officials to end the solitary confinement torture of Russell Maroon Shoats by releasing him into the general population of the prison immediately.


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sara Weinberger NORTHAMPTON, MA
      • 9 months ago

      No one should be placed in solitary confinement for extended periods of time. It is a form of torture.

    • Rosemary Woods SPRINGFIELD, MA
      • 9 months ago

      against human rights

    • Avera Lewin MUSTANG, OK
      • 9 months ago

      Solitary confinement is torture. America is supposed to stand for something having to do with human rights. Free Russell Shoats.

    • Rick Riffel BEAVERTON, OR
      • 9 months ago

      Most prisoners convicted of murder are never subjected to solitary confinement, especially if they are White.

      Shoats may have been wrongfully convicted in a faulty trial. He does not deserve solitary confinement any more than George Zimmerman does. The prison officials are dead wrong. Free Russell from solitary, and free Russell from prison.

    • Jamila Ali FREEPORT, NY
      • 9 months ago

      I am against Solitary confinement because I believe it is a method of torture.


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