Confirmed victory

Clemency for Minnie Pearl Thomas - Serving Life Without Parole

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This February, I was able to watch my son, Demaryius Thomas, win the Super Bowl as a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos. But I never would have seen him play if I had not received clemency from President Obama on July 13, 2014 because I was serving a 20 year sentence for a nonviolent drug offense.

The only thing that would have made the day I watched my son play in the Super Bowl more complete is having my mother there with me. My mother, and Demaryius’ grandmother, is Minnie Pearl Thomas. She is still in prison serving a life sentence for the same drug "conspiracy" case I was charged for. She has served 16 years.

My mom and I made mistakes by getting involved with drugs. We regret it and have each paid dearly for it. But neither of us deserved the long sentences we received. Because I refused to testify against my mother, I received a 20 year mandatory sentence because I did not give "substantial assistance" to the prosecution.

President Obama commuted my 20-year drug conspiracy sentence, which only one of many blessings I would experience.  Since then, I have been able to reunite with Demaryius and attend two of his football games, culminating in the greatest Super Bowl game in history, as far as I'm concerned.  

Without clemency, my mother could die in prison. As a federal offender serving life, she can’t get parole or time off for good behavior. She was sentenced under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 which created the 100:1 crack / powder cocaine sentencing disparity that has since been reformed. Under that law, crack cocaine offenders, often African American, would get a penalty that would require 100 times as much powder cocaine to trigger.

Please sign my petition and help me bring my mother and Demaryius' grandmother home, so we can begin to heal the pain and rebuild our lives together. She should not have to watch him play another football game from behind bars.

Learn more about my mom’s case at Can-Do Foundation: Clemency Through Justice.


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Katina Smith needs your help with “Barack Obama: Clemency for Minnie Pearl Thomas - Serving Life Without Parole”. Join Katina and 38,818 supporters today.