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Petitioning California State House, California State Senate, Ted Gaines, Cristina Garcia, Kristin Olsen, Roger Hernandez, Rich Gordon, Jerry Hill, Mark Leno, Marty Block, Fran Pavley, Zoe Lofgren, Barbara Boxe...

Remove Judge Aaron Persky from the Bench For Decision in Brock Turner rape case.

We the people would like to petition that Judge Aaron Persky be removed from his Judicial position for the lenient sentence he allowed in the Brock Turner rape case. Despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, Jeff Rosen the district attorney for Santa Clara, as well as the deputy district attorney who likened Turner to " a predator searching for prey" Judge Persky allowed the lenient sentence suggested by the probation department. Turner has shown no remorse and plans to attempt to overturn his conviction. Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency. He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors. Please help rectify this travesty to justice. ****PLEASE NOTE: This Petition is an effort to force Impeachment hearings for Judge Perksy By the California Assembly. It is not a recall effort.******   Love Always!Maria Ruiz  Twitter: @MariaLaMetida Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImpeachPersky/ GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/ImpeachPersky       

maria ruiz
1,324,284 supporters
Victory
Petitioning President of the United States

Clemency for Timothy Tyler, life for a nonviolent drug offense

My brother Timothy Tyler was just 25 years old when he was sentenced to die in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He's watched murderers and rapists leave prison while he has no chance of ever leaving. He is now 45 years old and I want to bring him home. Timothy was a young Grateful Dead fan, who in May of 1992, sold pot and LSD to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. He had never been to prison before, but a judge was forced to give him double life without the possiblity of parole because of two prior drug convictions — even though both those convictions resulted in probation. Life without the possibility of parole means my brother will never have a chance to live outside of prison walls. It's effectively a death sentence. Tim made mistakes when he was young, but after 22 years in prison, he has more than paid his debt to society. He is not a threat to anyone. He wasn't given a chance to get clean and sober to think about the damage he was doing to his life. They locked him up and threw away the key. But there's hope.  In December, President Obama granted clemency to 8 nonviolent drug offenders who were serving mandatory sentences for crack cocaine. And the Department of Justice recently asked for Bar Associations throughout the country to send them more clemency petitions for nonviolent drug offenders. It costs $25,000 per year to keep my non-violent brother in prison for a mistake he made more than 20 years ago.  So far, that is over half a million dollars.  Not only is that not justice, but it's a waste of money. I need your help to show them that Americans think Timothy has paid his debt to society and shouldn't be housed in a cage at the expense of taxpayers anymore. He should be granted clemency.    

Carrie Tyler
423,307 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin State House, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Honda, Wisconsin Governor, Sean Duffy

Secretary of Defense: Put Non Judicial Punishment on Background Check

I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country.  I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years.  In that time I was raped and sexually assaulted.  When I decided to report the sexual assault I was led through a maze of questions and excuses and I was even discouraged from reporting the crimes. In the end, instead of getting justice I was ostracized and humiliated. I learned that that offenders are not required to disclose their crimes on their discharge papers, and is not on a background check if they get a Non-Judicial Punishment. Most veterans are honorable men and women who have served our country, but there are some who have committed serious crimes like rape and sexual assault during their service and the military has a responsibility to disclose that information for the sake of the public good. If they are not charged per a Court Martial, they will not have to register (even though a NJP is equivalent to a misdemeanor)  and the crime will NOT be on their criminal back ground. When asked why Members who got a Non-Judicial Punishment do not have to disclose on their discharge papers, some of the responses I was given were 1) It will take too long to create a national database or 2) the military is going green and it takes too much paper to add an extra check box to discharge papers.  This is part of a larger issue of rape within the military.  Some estimates reveal that more than 1/3 of women in the armed services are raped during their service and of the reported rapes, 55% are males.  If you serve in the US military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member you have an 86.5% chance of keeping the crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding court martial.   Let's get this changed, and make it a requirement that Sex Crimes in the Military should be taken serious, and even if punishment is suspended, or does not go to Court Martial, it should still be on their background for employers and citizens to see while performing a back ground check. And to also include Active Duty Military in our current Database if they were charged per Court Martial (punishment suspended or dropped) Non Judicial Punishment or any form of punishment. If charged one way or another with a sex crime, he/she should also not be allowed to live in Base Housing. Please call (703) 571-3343 and continute to ask WHY they are ignoring our request. Join me in asking the Department of Defense to report criminal history (Military crimes INCLUDING NJP) on their DD214 and request that suspending punishment when being charged with a sex crime not be allowed!!  CONTACT   military.rape12@gmail.com to send stories, ask for help, need to talk, or media inquiries.

Nicole Meserole
372,668 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Deborah Leff

President Obama: Commutation for Weldon Angelos - 55 years for marijuana

My brother Weldon Angelos, who was on his way to becoming a successful musician--writing and producing songs with artists such as Snoop Dogg and other acclaimed musicians--has been in federal prison for over 12 years. He faces 43 more years. All because he sold small amounts of marijuana and possessed--only possessed, didn't use--a gun at the same time! Even the judge who sentenced Weldon disagreed with the mandatory sentence of 55 years. The father of two young boys and a daughter, Weldon had never before been in trouble with the law. He was convicted when he was 24 years old of selling small amounts of marijuana to a confidential informant three times. The informant, who was a childhood acquaintance of Weldon, testified that a gun was present (never brandished or used) during two of the pot deals, which were friendly encounters in a store parking lot. When the police officers presented a warrant for Weldon's arrest, he consented to a search of his home, where officers found some marijuana and three guns, one in a locked brief case and the other two in a locked safe. The conservative federal judge Paul Cassell, appointed by President George W. Bush, sentenced Weldon to one day in prison on the marijuana charges. But, to the judge's dismay, he had to sentence Weldon to 55 years in prison because Weldon possessed a gun during a drug offense, which was mandatory under federal law, even though Weldon had never before been convicted of a crime. Judge Cassell called the sentence "cruel, unjust, and even irrational," and "one of those rare cases where the system has malfunctioned." Members of Congress have also publicly decried the injustice of Weldon's sentence, including Senators Rand Paul (R- Ky.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Ut.), and Orrin Hatch (R-Ut.), and over 100 former federal prosecutors and judges joined together to challenge Weldon's outrageous sentence. Judge Cassell highlighted that Weldon's sentence is far longer than the sentences received for "child rape (11 years)," "second-degree murder (14 years)," and even "aircraft hijacking (24 years)." Had Weldon been prosecuted in state court, the judge noted, Weldon would have served about 2 years in prison. In 2004, Judge Cassell called upon the President to commute Weldon's unjust sentence. Since then, Senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch of Utah, and dozens of prominent celebrities, activists, book authors, legal scholars, business leaders (including Koch Industries), and former elected and appointed government officials have joined Judge Cassell in calling on President Obama to release Weldon from prison. But that hasn't happened yet. After 12 years, Weldon is still in prison. It breaks my heart. My father feared he would die without ever seeing Weldon free from prison. And on January 4, 2015, that's exactly what happen. Our father died without seeing his son free from behind bars. The Constitution provides the President with the power of commutation to reach a humane, merciful, just result. Please help us reach that result by signing and sharing this petition.

Lisa Angelos
262,370 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States

Sign the Citizens' Petition To Fix The Debt

America’s gross debt of over $18 trillion is a catastrophic threat to our security and economy, and the time to Fix the Debt is now. We see clearly that the national debt is out of control, and its continued growth puts our national security, social safety net, job growth prospects, and everything we value most about our nation at risk. Washington has done nothing about this looming catastrophe, and our voices must be heard in a way our elected decision-makers in Washington can’t possibly ignore. The “Citizens' petition” will boldly demonstrate that Americans across the political spectrum want Congress and the President to take action on the debt now by enacting a plan that uses the framework of Simpson-Bowles and other bipartisan plans to reduce the federal debt.

Fix The Debt
254,920 supporters
Victory
Petitioning President of the United States

End Female Genital Mutilation in the US - Commission a prevalence report on women impacted and girls at risk

My name is Jaha Dukureh and I am 24 years old. As an infant growing up in Gambia, I experienced Female Genital Mutilation. It took away a part of my femininity, my ownership to my body. Some girls, including my half-sister who died from complications from being cut, even lose their lives. I am committed to ending this destructive practice and I need you to join me.
  The World Health Organization defines Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as “the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons." In some cultures, FGM is believed to preserve the virginity of girls and keep them “pure” until marriage. It is also believed to keep girls faithful to their spouses because of lack of arousal during intercourse.  Apart from the violent and painful nature of the process, victims continue to suffer the physical and mental agony for the rest of their lives including complications during menstruation, sexual intercourse and childbirth. That is why the United Nations has declared FGM a human rights violation -- and yet the practice continues here in the United States and around the world. When I was 15 years old, I moved to New York and was forced in to marriage. I was lucky to escape and create a new life in Atlanta, where I now live with my second husband and children. I ended my silence about my experience and started speaking out about FGM. I created a blog where other women in our communities here in the US have shared their stories. Many in the US hear about FGM and think it only happens in far away lands. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. I hear from girls everyday that were born here in the United States who have been through FGM. These young women are your average American teenagers -- some of them you know, some of them you went or go to school with. And there are many more girls in the US that are at risk of being cut.  The practice of FGM is illegal in the US but girls are being taken to other countries, usually their parents’ country of origin where they are cut in what is now known as “vacation cutting." Laws have been passed to try to address FGM in the US -- including one signed by President Obama in early 2013 making it illegal to take a girl out of the country for purposes of FGM -- but girls continue to be cut. Part of the difficulty in recognizing and addressing the problem in the US is the lack of awareness and up-to-date research/statistics on the prevalence of FGM. That's why I started this campaign. In order to improve efforts to protect these little girls, we must know the facts about FGM in the US. I'm asking President Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services, to take the essential first step of commissioning a report on the current statistics of women in the US impacted by FGM and the girls at risk of being mutilated. This is just the beginning of our work and we won't back down and we won't go away until girls are protected. Join me, Congressman Crowley, and Equality Now in calling for the Administration to develop a strategic action plan to end FGM.  Please sign my petition now.

Jaha Dukureh
221,169 supporters
Victory
Petitioning President of the United States

President Obama: Sign the Executive Order Adding LGBT Workplace Protections to Millions of American Jobs

Dear President Obama, We write to urge you to build on your record as the strongest president in U.S. history for promoting equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans by signing an executive order to ban federal contractors from engaging in anti-LGBT workplace discrimination. Nobody should ever be fired or harassed just because of who they are or whom they love. We agree with Freedom to Work and many other LGBT organizations that if corporations are going to take money from American taxpayers, then they should have to abide by American values like judging people based on their talent and hard work, not their sexual orientation or gender identity.  DynCorp, a military contractor which profits from billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, was recently exposed for running a hostile work environment in which one employee was bullied at work and called “faggot,” “queer” and “dick-sucker” on a daily basis. After more than 50,000 citizens signed a petition on change.org, DynCorp finally agreed to add LGBT protections to its anti-harassment policies. However, many more companies will take this positive step once you approve the executive order that your staff has already drafted and recommended you sign. In fact, research by the Williams Institute shows that by issuing an executive order, you will cover more than 16 million additional workers against LGBT discrimination. Your executive order will be popular: A recent poll by the Center for American Progress found that almost 70% of likely 2012 voters support this very executive order. That support crosses political party lines, with 83% of Democrats, 69% of Independents, and even a majority of Republicans in favor of presidential action to stop LGBT discrimination. Your executive order will be good for businesses and U.S. taxpayers: Most of the top government contractors – companies like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin – already have LGBT non-discrimination rules, and they adopted them because they realize that discrimination is bad for the bottom line. Your executive order will only affect the hold-out companies that still engage in prejudice. As taxpayers, we should never have our money squandered by letting our government subsidize discrimination and harassment. Most importantly, your executive order is the right thing to do: LGBT Americans deserve full equality under the law, and we expect our elected officials to promote equality of opportunity whenever they can. According to news reports, your staff at the Justice Department and Labor Department have already written and approved the text of the executive order, and all that remains is for you to sign it. We respectfully urge you to do so.

Tico Almeida, Freedom to Work
190,756 supporters
Victory
Petitioning John Kerry

Release U.S.M.C. Sgt. Tahmooressi imprisoned in Mexico.

My son Andrew Tahmooressi is a Marine veteran fighting for his life and freedom in a Mexico jail after being wrongfully imprisoned for over a month after he accidentally crossed the border with three legal US purchased firearms in his truck. Andrew suffers from PTSD and had just traveled from Florida to San Diego to seek V.A. evaluation where he was diagnosed in March and started his treatment plan. He had all of his belongs in his car with him, including three firearms as he was searching housing and hoping to secure employment.   On March 31 he got lost while driving, made a wrong turn in the border town of San Ysidro, CA and within yards of that wrong turn, found himself approaching the Mexican Customs lane with no obvious way to turn around. Stopping, he states immediately,  “I got lost, made a wrong turn.  I do not want to be here. May I go back to the border (USA)? I have 3 weapons in my vehicle." Instead he was arrested and imprisoned on weapons charges even though the ATF traced the firearms back to him within days. Andrew's tours took place in (2010 & 2012) Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Marine, and he is currently a Reservist until 8/24/2016 in the Individual Ready Reserve. His experiences left him with PTSD and this situation is making things so much worse. Since in prison, his life has been threatened, he sustained a neck laceration and has been restrained by handcuffs to bed for 35 days. Our family is calling on Mexico's Attorney General to realize a mistake has been made and release Andrew immediately. So far more than 21 members of Congress have called for my son's release. Officials here in the U.S., including Secretary John Kerry and President Obama should join these calls so this veteran can be reunited with his family.

Jill Tahmooressi
183,952 supporters
Victory
Petitioning John Kerry (Secretary of State)

My father, Kenneth Bae, breaks his silence aboutNorth Korean Special Labor Camp

For those of you who helped to carry the voice of release for my father successfully to the Obama administration, I wanted to thank you again for your big hearts.  Since his Nov '14 release he refused interviews about what happened, but now he's breaking his silence about the experience inside one of the most secretive countries in the world and what life was like thinking about the likelihood of living out his sentence of 15 years of hard labor for anti-government activities.   He has been heartbroken that others have also been imprisoned like Canada's Pastor Lim and Otto Warmbier and encourages you to join him in advocating for them as well.      Since you were personally tied to the story I wanted to give you a heads up that he'll be on CBS Network news both in the morning and evening telling his story on May 2 in conjunction with the release of his memoir, Not Forgotten.  Other key outlets that helped to raise his profile like CNN will follow as well as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and more.  He's not doing this to elevate his profile as he's really a bit uncomfortable with all the attention but hopes that when people hear his side of the story that they'll better understand that country and be inspired by God's faithfulness in our darkest hours.  I hope you'll be able to watch and hear that he still has a deep love for the people of North Korea. You can track more about this on www.notforgottenbook.com Thank you and please offer your support to other political prisoners around the world.  

Jonathan Bae
177,037 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Tell the USDA to stop hiding animal cruelty from American taxpayers

I was absolutely shocked to hear that the United States Department of Agriculture removed public animal welfare inspection reports and annual reports related to the Animal Welfare Act from its website. These reports contain information about thousands of puppy mills, roadside zoos, and animal testing facilities. If you want the federal government to stop hiding animal cruelty, please sign this petition telling the USDA to make these taxpayer-funded documents public once again!I spent the last decade working on animal cruelty cases all over the country. One of my proudest accomplishments was creating Missouri’s Canine Cruelty Prevention Unit through the Attorney General’s office. With the help of state and federal animal welfare inspectors, I shut down more than forty puppy mills, so I know these reports are crucial when it comes to holding animal abusers accountable. Additionally, when the USDA database was public, commercial dog breeders had an incentive to treat their animals well; consumers could choose good actors over animal abusers through a simple search.As of Friday, that is no longer the case. Because of these very recent changes, the public will no longer be able to learn about: Puppy mill inspection reports to assess living conditions--and risk of disease or injury--for commercially bred puppies sold online and in pet stores, Animal Welfare Act violations at roadside zoos and traveling circuses before deciding whether or not to take your children to see the elephants, lions, chimpanzees, and tigers kept there, Reports from larger entertainment companies like SeaWorld about how orcas, polar bears, and other animals are treated, Illegal actions in laboratories doing experiments on monkeys, dogs, and cats, and Behind-the-scenes abuse by horse trainers. Until Friday, February 3rd, any member of the public, including concerned consumers, law enforcement professionals, students and researchers, and nonprofit animal protection organizations, was able to access Animal Welfare Act records on the United States Department of Agriculture’s website. That’s no longer the case for information previously found on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) database. The public’s only alternative is submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to APHIS, which often takes months--if not years--to work through the system.This is not a partisan political issue. We all know animals deserve to be treated well, and we all want to make sure American taxpayers have a transparent government. There is no logical explanation to make it harder for consumers to choose healthy animals or inform the public about persistent animal abuse. The only reason the government would take such an action is because of pressure from those who profit from cruelty to animals. In their minds, what the public doesn’t know can’t hurt them.Let’s show them public concern is more powerful than corporate animal abuse lobbying!Please tell the USDA, your members of Congress, and the White House to restore the USDA database in the interests of consumer protection, animal welfare, and government accountability!

Jessica Blome
169,956 supporters
Free Steven Avery

This response was posted by the We The People Team at the White House: Thank you for signing a Change.org petition on the Teresa Halbach murder case, currently featured on the "Making a Murderer" documentary series. We appreciate your interest in this case. To best respond to your petition, we should go over what exactly presidential pardoning power entails. The U.S. Constitution grants the power of clemency to the President: "The President ... shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States." This clemency authority empowers the President to exercise leniency towards persons who have committed federal crimes. Under the Constitution, only federal criminal convictions, such as those adjudicated in the United States District Courts, may be pardoned by the President. In addition, the President's pardon power extends to convictions adjudicated in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and military court-martial proceedings. However, the President cannot pardon a state criminal offense. Since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them. A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities. While this case is out of the Administration's purview, President Obama is committed to restoring the sense of fairness at the heart of our justice system. That's why he has granted 184 commutations total -- more than the last five presidents combined -- and has issued 66 pardons over his time in office (https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/12/18/president-obama-has-shortened-sentences-more-people-last-5-presidents-combined). This Administration has taken a number of important actions to reduce the federal prison population (https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/population_statistics.jsp) in keeping with the President’s continuing efforts to enhance the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/fact-sheet-enhancing-fairness-and-effectiveness-criminal-justice-system) at all phases and to better address the vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration that traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. These include: -Signing the Fair Sentencing Act, a bill that reduced the 100-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, and eliminated the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine (https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/08/03/president-obama-signs-fair-sentencing-act). -The Justice Department's "Smart on Crime" initiative, in which federal prosecutors are concentrating efforts and resources on the worst offenders and avoiding triggering excessive mandatory minimums for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders (http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/ag/legacy/2013/08/12/smart-on-crime.pdf). -Commuting the sentences of dozens of people sentenced under outdated and unfair drug laws (https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/07/13/president-obama-announces-46-commutations-video-address-america-nation-second-chance). In 2014, President Obama also issued an Executive Order creating a Task Force on 21st Century Policing (https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/18/president-obama-creates-task-force-21st-century-policing) that produced a concrete blueprint for cities and towns seeking to put in place new strategies to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve while enhancing public safety. (The Task Force’s Final Report is available here: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/policingtaskforce.) And he has met with Americans across the country who are working to improve the criminal justice system, from law enforcement officials working to lower crime and incarceration rates, to former prisoners who are earning their second chance. Last summer, he became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison (https://medium.com/@WhiteHouse/behind-the-lens-photographing-the-president-at-a-federal-prison-ba5a5e7f2e8b#.dolmltkxc). And he continues to work with Congress to pass meaningful criminal justice reform that makes the system more cost-effective, fairer, and smarter, while enhancing the ability of law enforcement to keep our communities safe (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/17/weekly-address-working-meaningful-criminal-justice-reform). To view our response to the Teresa Halabach murder case on We The People, click here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/response-your-petition-teresa-halbach-murder-case Thanks again for raising your voices. We hope you'll continue to participate on the platform. -- The We the People Team

1 year ago