Justice for Cornelius! Shut Sequel Down
Last week, 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks died after being restrained for throwing a sandwich at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, MI, which is run by the national for-profit company Sequel Youth and Family Services. Such egregious use of force and tragic loss of life is appalling and is part of a pattern and practice of abuse that spans facilities and warrants immediate shut down. Most notably, Cornelius's case echoes harms at Clarinda Academy in Iowa and Red Rock Canyon School in Utah, which resulted in facility closure. No other kid should suffer, while Sequel profits off of warehousing and restraining youth. In the United States, profiting off of youth incarceration has become widespread, with almost half of the youth facilities in the country privately operated. Kids are often shipped across state lines to receive "therapeutic services," yet in reality suffer bullying, restraint, and abuse. We know from nationwide data that youth of color are more likely to be removed from their homes and placed in these types of facilities despite similar rates of offending. We must stop warehousing youth and subjecting youth of color to these harmful conditions. Cornelius's death at a Sequel facility highlights the harms faced by youth at for-profit facilities. Years of experience with for-profit juvenile and adult facilities shows privatization often leads to a variety of harmful outcomes such as: dangerous conditions, incentives to incarcerate kids longer, and prioritizing profits over public safety. We must prioritize youth over profit. Cornelius should be with us today. Help get justice for Cornelius by calling on Governor's to get kids immediately out of the Kalamazoo facility and shut Sequel facilities down. Sequel can not be trusted to house one more youth.
Change the law making it illegal to leave a dog in a hot car in Alabama
The state of Alabama has no law protecting helpless dogs left in cars on hot summer days. I just recently witnessed a tiny puppy suffering while locked in a hot car while the owner went shopping at the mall. It was a 90° day. When it's that hot outside, the temperature on the inside of a car can quickly rise to 170°. Too many dogs die from being left in hot cars every year. Please sign this to help change the law.
Grant clemency to Robin Myers and change his sentence from death to life without the possibility of parole
Robin "Rocky" Myers is a 53-year-old intellectually disabled black man who was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1993 for a crime he did not commit. With a vote of 9-to-3, an overwhelmingly white jury in Decatur, Ala., recommended that Robin be sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole. The elected judge presiding over the case overrode the jury and ordered his execution instead. The United States Supreme Court recently found this practice of judicial override to be unconstitutional and struck down Florida's capital sentencing scheme, which allowed override. Alabama is now one of only two states that allows for such judicial override and it stands alone in giving a judge no guidance in exercising this power. In the last 15 years, shockingly, Alabama is the only state to ever use judicial override to sentence someone to death. To quote U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, “[I]t approaches the most literal sense of the word ‘arbitrary’ to put one to death in the face of a contrary jury determination where it is accepted that the jury had indeed responsibly carried out its task.” In all of Rocky’s post-conviction proceedings, he and his counsel have argued that he should not be executed because he is innocent and intellectually disabled. Additionally, Alabama’s decision to execute Rocky is a direct violation of a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found the execution of an intellectually disabled inmate to be cruel and unusual and, therefore, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And because Rocky’s counsel abandoned him in the midst of his post-conviction proceedings, these claims have never been fully addressed by any court. Rocky has no further appellate process available to him, and is subject to receive an execution date at any time. Your signature to this petition is not a vote for his innocence. It is a vote for justice, and one that will hopefully compel the state of Alabama and Gov. Robert Bentley to grant Rocky clemency from an elected judge’s arbitrary decision and allow him to serve the sentence the jury of his peers intended –– Life Without the Possibility of Parole. To learn more about or to keep up with the status of Rocky's case, please visit www.clemencyforrockymyers.wordpress.com.
Protect transgender kids and prevent the passage of HB303
House Bill 303, the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, makes it illegal for individuals under the age of 19 to receive life saving gender affirmation treatments. Neglecting to follow that law will result in being charged with a Class C felony. It will also protect therapists and school counselors who out transgender children to their families, which is a gross violation of the confidentiality standards that these people are held to. The treatments that transgender youth receive is a matter only between them, their family, and their doctors. Puberty blockers, which are entirely reversible and aren't exclusively administered to transgender youth, will be banned under this. Shelnutt, a sponsor of VCAP, states that he wishes to ban treatments with irreversible consequences. Alongside many other outdated statistics and false claims made by him and other sponsors, it is clear that they lack education on this topic. The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act does not protect children nor show them compassion. All it does is bar trans youth from receiving necessary treatments.
Grant clemency for Ezlinglm E. non violent sentenced to life on marijuana charges
What’s right is right...The laws are changing everyday but only for some of us. I just want the world to know that good people are not perfect they do sometimes fall short but it does not make them bad. There are so many unjust cases that have been closed without a second thought and it saddens me. When sentencing, the person should be examined and not just considering what’s on documentation, because it is not necessarily who they are. How could someone paint a picture without ever seeing the image? Ezlinglm Demetrius Earl 30 years of age; a son, brother, loving father, family man and a well appreciated veteran was sentenced to life in an Alabama state prison on marijuana charges. As, we all know marijuana is now a growing business, that is now legal in numerous of states. It is a growing pain to know that there are people given this unruly sentencing all because of their location. It is almost unbelievable but it is true, this is going on now this sentence was given late 2018. The justice system was supposedly built on fairness but honestly that’s something I can’t agree to because I haven’t seen much of that...there are murderers, rapists and maybe even terrorists that are given lesser sentences. My hopes are to justify the unjust, speak for those that are unable, reveal true images of those wrongfully painted, and my ultimate goal is to help place loved ones back with their families. Instead of in prisons like animals for semi-legal crimes. Clemency is clearly needed here. Please look into this case to release Ezlinglm D. Earl.
Free Mr. Willie Simmons, Army Veteran; Serving Life for stealing $9
Help get the attention of Governor Kay Ivey in Alabama! Hopefully she can help this man get released from this extremely harsh prison sentence. Willie Simmons, a 62-year man from Alabama, has been behind bars for the last 38 years for stealing $9. He was convicted of 1st-degree robbery and was sentenced to life without parole in 1982 due to Alabama’s Habitual Offender law. He already had 3 non violent prior convictions. Simmons, an Army veteran who became addicted to drugs while assigned overseas, was 25-years old when the state “said he should die in prison.” Since 2005, he hasn’t had a visitor after his sister passed away. Now at the age of 62, he has been incarcerated in Holman Correctional Facility in Escambia County, Alabama which is considered one of the “most violent prisons in the country.” Despite that, he is studying for his GED, trying to “stay away from the wild bunch.” Simmons is not denying the crime he committed that landed him in prison for life. He admitted he was “high on drugs” when he wrestled a man to the ground and stole his wallet that contained $9, as he said he was “trying to get a quick fix.” Simmons recalled his trial which lasted about 25 minutes. He said his appointed attorney didn’t call on any witness and the prosecutors didn’t offer a plea deal although his prior offenses were non-violent. “They kept saying we’ll do our best to keep you off the streets for good,” he said. Over the years, he has filed for several appeals even without an attorney and those were all denied. He said, “In a place like this, it can feel like you’re standing all alone. I ain’t got nobody on the outside to call and talk to. Sometimes I feel like I’m lost in outer space.” Lawmakers in 2014 have since removed the last avenue of appeal for those serving life without parole under the habitual offender law like Simmons. However, Simmons is hoping his cruel sentence could be reconsidered. “Yes, I’ve been hoping and praying on it,” he said. “I ain’t giving up.” Moreover, Simmons still dreams someday he will be free and live a normal life. “My hope is to get out of here, settle down with a woman and do God’s will,” he said. “I’d like to tell people about how bad drugs are.”
Save the Bannister children from sex trafficking
"What does a mother do, when she discovers that the most unimaginable nightmares have occurred, repeatedly, to her little ones at the hands of the men who should have been the most protective in their lives: their father, grandfather, pastor, church members, and neighbors? "What does she do after the local justice system utterly fails them? "She takes her children and runs for their lives." Melody Bannister has been living on the run with her four children for six months as of December 2019. They allege that her husband, William Joseph Bannister, conspired with her father-in-law to perpetuate some of the most horrifying sexual and physical abuse imaginable upon her children. When local law enforcement failed to protect these children, ordering them back to live with their credibly accused abuser, Melody chose to live on the wrong side of the law. What else could a truly desperate mother do?"We left home with barely a week’s worth of summer clothes and are practically penniless, living off the kindness of friends, who one by one have taken us under their wings."The Bannister family escaped from Virginia to Alabama only to have Judge Pamela Wilson Cousins defer to the Virginia ruling. Melody is now appealing their case on both the state and federal levels. As she notes in her public statement, "The mental health and credibility of my children and me have been assessed and verified by two of the most prestigious forensic psychiatrists in the country: Dr. Michael Stone and Dr. Carole Lieberman. ...Naturally, the abusers did not take kindly to such a development, and are seeking to have the reports stricken from the record. ...Hence our position of living underground." You can find the full story of the trauma Melody and her children have faced here: http://millstonesofjustice.wordpress.com/millstones-of-justice At this point, Melody Bannister's best hope is that true justice will be found for her family: the legal system must stand up to protect her children, and it must pursue criminal action against those they have credibly accused. Will you join your voice to the throng of people appealing for justice on behalf of the Bannister children?No mother should be forced to protect her babies from the system designed to rescue them. No child should be forced to live with a parent who has come under any legitimate suspicion of child abuse--especially when the alleged abuse is so severe! No family should become so desperate that they leave everything they know and love in order to preserve their most basic physical safety. ---Please contact the relevant authorities, listed below, to demand safety and justice for the Bannister children. Use the enclosed form letter if you find it helpful. The Virginia Family Court case number is JJ053144-01-99; the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals case number is 2180939. Every voice will raise the cry until authorities can no longer ignore victims and enable perpetrators! Richmond, Virginia FBI: (804) 261-1044 Stafford, VA Commonwealth Attorney Eric Olsen: (540) 658-8780 Judge Julian W. Johnson: (540) 658-8775; firstname.lastname@example.org Stafford VA Detective J.G. Wright: (540) 658-5210; email@example.com Jennifer Dudley, Stafford VA CPS: (540) 658-5107; firstname.lastname@example.org Alabama Governor Kay Ivey: 334-242-7100 Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall: 334-242-7300 --- To Whom It May Concern, I have become acquainted with the severe, conspiratorial, and protracted physical and sexual abuse alleged by Melody Bannister's four children at the hands of their father, William Joseph Bannister, and their grandfather, Jay Tuhl Bannister, as outlined in the statement made by Ms. Bannister on her blog, Millstones of Justice. This same statement details how the Virginia and Alabama justice systems have utterly failed to protect these children from the threat of sex trafficking. Now Melody has appealed the unjust ruling of Judge Pamela Wilson Cousins to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and, in the meantime, lives in hiding with her children from national law enforcement, who seek to return her children to William Bannister, their alleged trafficker, despite the absence of any thorough investigation of either William Bannister or Jay Tuhl Bannister. Note that, according to Millstones of Justice, "The mental health and credibility of [Melody's] children and [Melody herself] have been assessed and verified by two of the most prestigious forensic psychiatrists in the country: Dr. Michael Stone and Dr. Carole Lieberman." Sam McLure, Melody's legal representative in Alabama, has publicly confirmed this information in his interview with Dr. Carole Lieberman dated Dec. 17, 2019. Mr. McLure's appeal to the Alabama appellate court documents this information as well. In Melody's words, "Children do have bright and creative imaginations; it is an integral part of the human spirit. But no child is capable of pulling a story out of thin air, which includes them being violently abused physically, sexually, and psychologically, in ways that would cause even the most stout-hearted adult to lose their lunch." This gross miscarriage of justice must end with you. Sex trafficking is a nation-wide scourge, with FBI agents stretched completely beyond their capacity to rescue most of those caught in it, as I expect you are aware. If Americans cannot rely on the justice system to protect our most vulnerable from trafficking before they are completely lost to it, where do we stand? Our faith in the integrity and power of our legal and judicial authorities, such as yourself, will end, as will your tenure in office. Insofar as you are able, you must bring this matter to justice: protect these children on every level and pursue criminal action against those they have credibly accused to prevent more innocents falling prey to unimaginably grotesque schemes. --- For press inquiries and further information: contact BannisterPetition@gmail.com.
Enough Justice Served For Ebra Hayes
We are writing this in regards of Ebra Hayes, in 1996 She was 19 years old and was charged with “complicity to murder” with a sentence of life without parole. In her initial statement, Ebra says men/boys were in a car trying to run her off the road and throwing “fire bombs” at her car and threatening her and her boyfriend. She then returned back to her parents home with her boyfriend who said he wanted to go to talk to someone about a stereo they wanted to buy. Ebra then took her boyfriend to meet said person and that’s when she heard shots and was told to “go faster”. At the time she did not know her boyfriend had the gun or if he was the one who shot it. She did not stop the car in fear of what would happen to her. The state charging her with “complicity of murder” MUST show criminal intent. She was denied youthful offender when she did not have and prior charges. She was denied a fair trial as African American jurors were struck from the jury without stating a reason to do so, in violation of the Batson decision in the Batson vs Kentucky case. A witness (that was in the car) called in Ebra’s defense testified that he didn’t see nor hear the boyfriend say he had a gun or wanted to kill anyone. The boyfriend also in his case said “I did not try to kill anyone I just wanted to scare them.” The facts in this case does not match up with the charges given. She has been in Tutwiler Women’s Prison for 24 years and has been a model prisoner, not getting any reprimands. We are asking when is enough time served for a crime you did NOT commit or knew was going to happen. She has claimed her innocence the whole 24 years.
Declare “Juneteenth” a Federal Holiday in America.
On June 19, 1865, slavery was abolished both in law and in practice. “Juneteenth” is an American holiday that commemorates that day. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day , Jubilee Day, Cel-Liberation Day or the Black Fourth of July. Declaring this day a federal holiday will show the World and Black people everywhere (descendants of slaves) that America is listening and ready for change.
Petition to pardon or grant clemency to the dad who killed his daughter's rapist
Jay Maynor has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing his daughter's rapist. Jay is not a threat to society. He is a good man. We would like to see him set free or at minimum a lesser sentence. An Alabama man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for murdering his daughter’s sexual abuser.Jay Maynor, 43, pleaded guilty to the shooting death of Raymond Earl Brooks, 59, two years ago in Cullman, Alabama, about 50 miles north of Birmingham.Thirteen years earlier, Brooks had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Maynor’s 8-year-old daughter, who was also Brooks’ adopted granddaughter.Brooks served 27 months for that crime before he was released on parole. He was a registered sex offender.Maynor’s daughter, who is now 24 and the mother of three, said her dad snapped that day in 2014 after she argued with him over Brooks, AL.com reported.Her dad got on his motorcycle and drove to a convenience store, where he fired several rounds inside while trying to hit a man who had been dating his stepdaughter and allegedly had been abusing the woman, she said.Maynor didn’t hit anyone, and took off for Brooks’ home, where he shot the man twice, killing him as he stood in his front yard, authorities said.Maynor’s daughter said he pleaded guilty so she wouldn’t have to testify about being abused by Brooks over several years, until she finally told her step mother, Sandy about it at age 8.“My father was protecting me, like a father should do,” she told the news site. “He is an amazing father, actually the best. He loves us so much.”Her father also pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the store shooting and was sentenced to 20 years, to be served concurrently with his murder sentence.The daughter says her father’s punishment is too harsh.“I’m going through hell,” she said.