Commutation Petition on Behalf of Craig M. Williams

Commutation Petition on Behalf of Craig M. Williams

November 5, 2022
Petition to
Audra Williams
Signatures: 83Next Goal: 100
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Why this petition matters

Started by Deanna Kabler

Please allow me to call your attention to the unique case of injustice regarding Craig Williams-0482007, requiring just a touch of your grace. We ask that you please extend your heart and hand in compassion to support Craig's petition and endeavor for release.

Craig's case is about multiple system failures resulting in a fundamental miscarriage of justice by our North Carolina Criminal Justice System, and we implore your efforts to help restore the balance of justice and mercy in Craig's case.

1). Craig is currently incarcerated in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. He was incarcerated at age 18 and has been incarcerated for the past 26 years.

2). Craig took part in a robbery at the impressionable age of 18, where one of his codefendant's unexpectedly took the life of another. Craig felt it was in his best interest to accept a plea bargain due to various external and legal pressures.

3). During Craig's sentencing, the trial court erroneously used evidence from his codefendant's trial to find and support the usage of aggravating factors against Craig, and significantly enhanced his sentence thereby.

The court's action in this regard, worked an actual and substantial disadvantage on Craig; subsequently increasing his sentence by more than 8 years. It is well established law that the state "cannot rely on evidence from the trial of another connected with the same offense absent stipulation or waiver" (state v. Benbow, N.C. Sup. Ct. 1983 and state v. Taylor, N.C. App. 1985); neither of which Craig provided.

Furthermore, Craig's court appointed attorney, acting in collusion with the District Attorney at that time also worked to deny Craig his constitutional right to withdraw his plea in violation of Craig's Sixth Amendment Secured Autonomy Right "to be the master of his own defense" (McCoy v. Louisiana U.S. 138 S. Ct. 2018 and state v. Harbison, 315 N.C. 1985). 

Craig has challenged these issues in the courts to no avail, as the court relies upon the legal loophole that Craig has been barred from filing these claims in spite of their legal merit.

Moreover, a fundamental miscarriage of justice occurs when a person is unconstitutionally deprived of his or her liberty. In Craig's case, he has been unconstitutionally deprived of his liberty. Without the intervention of your support of this petition, Craig is on track to lose his liberty for longer than he should be, because of such illegal practices by our state.

5). Craig is the ideal candidate for early release. He is one who embodies transformation and rehabilitation. Craig's has devoted his entire incarceration to education, rehabilitation, and aiding others in embracing more holistic self-improvement. 

Craig has acquired AS of Science Degrees in Information Systems Technology and Electronic Engineering respectively. He has marketable vocational training; having earned his license as a certified Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Technician, and he also has completed numerous rehabilitate self-help certifications.

December of this year, Craig will graduate from The College at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry with an emphasis in counseling. He has been participating in the North Carolina Field Minister program for the last four years and upon graduation will serve his fellow incarcerated men across the state of North Carolina. 

Craig's life is devoted to serving his community once released. He would never, for the life of him, want to see another 18-year-old kid throw his or her life away by perpetuating some of the same negative behaviors and poor choices he made as a youth. It is now Craig's passion to use his carceral experience to play a small, but vital role to positively impact someone's life for the better and reverse the negative trends of violence plaguing our communities.

At present, Craig currently has 6 years remaining on his sentence before release. However, we call upon the state's judicial and executive branches of government (Halifax County Court, Halifax County District Attorney Elect, and Governor Roy Cooper) to provide redress in Craig's case, and grant him release by way of sentence commutation or resentence to mitigated range.

We know that Craig will be a valuable asset to his community. Please grant us your support by signing this petition. 

Thank you!





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Signatures: 83Next Goal: 100
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Audra Williams