WRONGFULLY CONVICTED! TN man needs your help to do away with his unjust life sentence.
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Donte' Swanier, now 24 years old, was convicted of First Degree Felony Murder. A crime that occurred while he was just a teen. See https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2015/05/05/19-year-old-surrenders-in-relation-to-2014-homicide/26941775/ He was convicted by a Davidson County grand jury in October of 2017 and received a life sentence. His sentence expiration date is 2075.
A life sentence in Tennessee is 60 years at 100%. A defendant can receive no more than 15% worth of “good time” credits. This means that a defendant, if behaving during his or her incarceration, can have 15% of that 60 years “shaved off” of their sentence. The law in Tennessee requires an individual to serve 51 full calendar years before being eligible for parole, a number of years most people won’t live too see, or would be of very old age if they did. For years, Tennessee attorneys have stated that this statute is unconstitutional, arguing that this equates to life without parole and ultimately a denial of hope, especially for individuals who were teens at the time the crime was committed.
Teens often make irrational decisions, not thinking before they act, but that doesn’t mean they deserve a life sentence. Especially in Mr. Swanier's situation where he didn’t kill the victim. Donte' was only 18 years young at the time of the crime. “The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.” See https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051
Donte, unlike 2 of his other “ co-conspirators, wasn’t given a second chance at life. He was the oldest person involved, but only by a couple of years. Diana Reyes, was said to be in the vehicle with Mr. Swanier during the time of the offense. She was 15 years old and was never charged, arrested or apprehended. Evidence in court records references her role in the crime. Rayvon Walker was the first individual arrested in this case, and due to his false testimony and statements given to MNPD detectives and prosecutors, he was prosecuted as if he was merely a robber, when in actuality, he pulled the trigger, killing the victim in the front yard of his Antioch home. He was 16 at the time of the crime and received juvenile probation until the age of 19 for Facilitation of First Degree Felony Murder. Quintavious Patton, who Walker placed the blame on, was prosecuted as if he was the shooter, ending in him receiving a life sentence after him and Donte's October trial. Since an adolescent, Donte’ suffered from A.D.H.D which had a major impact on his decision making. Although he was 18, his mind wasn’t completely there yet. “The results show that both inattentive and hyperactive symptoms during childhood increase the likelihood of engaging in numerous types of criminal activities…” See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3398051/
Records show that Donte’ was convicted under the theory of criminal responsibility for providing transportation and a handgun. The proof put on at trial showed that he provided transportation and the weapon. No proof suggested that he planned the robbery, encouraged his co-defendants to commit the offense, told them to kill the victim, or that it was his conscious desire to engage in the robbery, therefore, he is not guilty under the elements required to be met by Tennessee law. Based off of the proof, it would be proper for the courts to modify Donte's conviction to Facilitation, as a mitigated range one offender. “ (a) A person is criminally responsible for the facilitation of a felony, if, knowing that another intends to commit a specific felony, but without the intent required for criminal responsibility under § 39-11-402(2) , the person knowingly furnishes substantial assistance in the commission of the felony.”
His case clearly meets that criteria and that criteria only. See https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsmv.com/news/get-away-driver-pleads-guilty-for-facilitation-of-murder-of-krispy-kreme-driver/article_fe4034d4-2b29-11e9-a121-abb959fbb412.amp.html A modification of his conviction is necessary to promote justice and equality. Walker, who was hands on involved in the crime, received facilitation, yet Mr. Swanier, who was over 80 feet away, out of sight of the crime, was treated in a more harsh manner. The appropriate sentence, according to the law, would be 15 years at 30%.
Mr. Swanier prays that everyone signs this petition to correct this injustice. For a more detailed version of his case, please see http://miscarriageofjustie.squarespace.com/ . Thank you in advance for your support!
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