Clemency for Linda Byrnes, serving 27 years for conspiracy to distribute marijuana

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Linda Byrnes is a 70 year old woman who has been in prison for 22 years of a 27 year and 9 month sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. In April, she was diagnosed with tongue cancer and started chemotherapy. Without clemency from President Obama, she may not live to be released.

Despite states legalizing marijuana across the nation, for medicinal and recreational use, Linda remains in prison.  She wants to reunite with her family, including her 7-year-old granddaughter, Gabriellah, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a terminal illness, and is confined to a wheelchair and uses a breathing tube and feeding tube.

Linda’s son was involved in selling marijuana and she helped him haul a shipment. When he got caught, he was given immunity if he would testify against her. Linda understands that her son was young and scared and was manipulated by law enforcement, who greatly exaggerated the marijuana case against them. She was one of 14 people indicted in a “conspiracy” case. Only three went to trial and the other 11 took plea bargains. Because Linda had a prior marijuana conviction, an additional 10 years was added to her sentence.

Linda has never had the been able to meet her grandchildren. She has a lot of love to share with them as well as with her daughter. If released, she would be a productive member of society. Her crime involved no violence and no victims. It makes no fiscal sense to keep a woman, who was never a danger or threat to anyone, locked in prison any longer.

Linda has participated in several classes while being incarcerated, including a 500 hour residential drug abuse program, one year after-care program, and the inmate financial responsibility program. She finished a trade school program for Optical Lens, where she went to school for a year and made eyeglasses for 41 facilities in the State of Virginia. She also completed classes in cross stitch, knitting, pre-release and parenting classes, as well as drug programs, plus many more programs.

Please sign this petition and ask President Obama to show Linda Byrnes mercy and allow her to have to chance to live the remainder of her life as a free woman loving and caring for her loved ones.

Learn more about Linda's case on the CAN-DO Foundation website.