My name is Toree Sims Sr. I am currently an inmate at Federal Correctional Institution – Gilmer; in Glenville, WV. I am serving a 30 year sentence for Conspiracy. Today, I’m stepping out on faith, in hopes that I will get support, to get the president to consider a reduction of my sentence through the clemency project 2014.
I prayerfully hope that you can understand my pain. I was born in Louisville, KY to two wonderful parents and I love them both dearly. I am also a proud father of 3 lovely kids. My two daughters both have sickle-cell anemia. My youngest daughter has been in and out of the hospital countless times since birth due to this incurable disease. It hurts me to the core of my soul that I am not able to be with my kids daily, but it is especially painful to not be with my sick child while she is in the hospital.
When this nightmare of a 30 year sentence occurred and I was taken away from society, my kids were 5, 6, and 7 years old. Now, they are 16, 17, and 18; I have missed out of two-thirds of their lives. I wasn't afforded the opportunity to attend spelling bees, football and basketball games, cheerleading competitions, sweet sixteen, teaching them how to drive, and graduations. I was not able to teach my son how to be a respectable young man or show my daughters how to be classy young ladies.
I am in search of a blessing and a ways to explain the unanswerable questions, “Daddy, when are you coming home?” or “Dad, why do people that have committed murder get locked up, and back out again, but you are still stuck in jail?” My kids are right, why am I, a non-violent offender, charged with conspiracy, serving more time than cold blooded killers? It’s an extremely difficult task to explain to them why I received so much time for a crime, with no physical evidence, all based on hearsay. It’s hard to explain to a child what conspiracy is period.
We get 300 minutes a month, which equals out to twenty, 15 minute phone calls. Trying to be a father over the phone is a real struggle when there are limits on your time. I am over 350 miles away from home. My youngest daughter was moved to Ohio, were she resides with her grandmother. My son stayed in Kentucky. My oldest daughter, moved to Texas and I have not been able to see her in 11 years. She has grown up without establishing a real relationship with me, and she is very angry with me for being locked up all of her life. She now has a full scholarship be an architect. If I was not incarcerated, I would have continued to be an active and dedicated father to all three of my children.
Aside from my children, my parents are getting older, and they need me. The house that was passed down from my grandfather to my mother, burned down just before Christmas 2015. We lost all of our family history in that fire. My parents are still currently without a home. My father suffered burns, smoke inhalation, and could have lost his life due to going back in the house to try to save their precious dog “Bee Bee” a Yorkshire terrier, who unfortunately succumbed to the flames. On top of the fire, my father’s cancer has returned and spread to four different places. My mother and father are getting older and do not have long left on this earth. I am the only child my mother has. My greatest wish is to hopefully and prayerfully be free to help my parents with their last days on this earth.
I do not have a bad criminal record, nor does it reflect any violent crimes in it, that is because I am not a violent person. I have no violent convictions, yet I am serving a 30 year conspiracy sentence for drugs. Since my incarceration, I have participated and taken advantage of all programs and work opportunities offered by the Bureau of Prisons.
I hope that your office finds my situation readily amendable for consideration for clemency or a presidential pardon. I pledge to vitalize any and every opportunity afforded to me to make a successful re-entry into society and to redeem my status as a law abiding citizen and a valuable contributor to my family and community!
In closing, while preparing this letter to you, my worst fear happened. I received an email that my father passed away. The institution that I am being housed at did not even relay the message to me after my family called and told them. If it were not for the email from my family I would not have known. I have been incarcerated for 10 years with zero incident reports, and I was still not able to attend my father’s funeral. When I called home to speak to my mother, she broke down crying. All she was able to say is that she lost her son (me) and now she has lost her best friend, her husband! I felt so helpless, like nothing, not being able to be there for the person who gave birth to me when she needed me the most. I’ve been incarcerated for over 10 long years when I should have been home taking care of my family.
I am creating this petition asking that God places it upon your heart to show grace and mercy for a clemency or pardon. This is my last hope. Thank you for your time, consideration, and patience in reading my petition. I hope and pray to hear a positive response from you soon.