Petition Closed
Petitioning Senator Dick Durbin and 6 others

President Obama: Commutation for Terry Young – Given 2 Life Sentences, even though his indictment did not state or include any drug types or any drug quantities.


To the Public:  WE NEED YOUR HELP, to help Terry Young get the justice he deserves, and was deprived of when he was sentenced to LIFE in prison.  Terry Young has already served over 17 years in Federal prison, doing far more time than he should have received base on what he was indicted for.  Terry doesn’t deserve to spend the rest of his life behinds bars serving time based on a crime that he should have only received 51 months minimum or up to 20 years maximum.

  Terry B. Young, a 3 time decorated U.S. Army veteran, college graduate, and 1st time nonviolent offender was convicted of a drug conspiracy with no drug amounts in 1999.  Despite having no prior record and being a nonviolent offender, he was given mandatory 2 life sentences without parole. The Judge in his case decided to assume that Mr. Young’s offense carried 2 Life sentences of imprisonment, when in fact; according to the Constitution, and Supreme Court Precedent, Mr. Young should not have received no more than 51 months. His lawyers agreed.  Upon resentencing, Mr. Young was given a reduction of one of his life sentences to 20 years by which the judge presiding over his case decided that he would not rule on his other life sentence in defiance to what the appellate court had actually instructed him to do.  This is a travesty of justice.  This should not have been allowed.     Terry has accepted his part for what has caused him to be sent to prison in the first place.  Terry was charged with conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and heroin, and money laundering.  In April of 1998, a jury found Mr. Young guilty on Counts 1, 2 and 14 of a superseding indictment.  Count 1 charged that Terry Young conspired to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin, Count 2 he was charged with possessing with intent to distribute one kilogram of cocaine, and Count 14 charged Mr. Young with money laundering.   Mr. Young’s sentenced was enhanced for weapons allegedly used by others, but Young was never charged with or alleged to have used any weapons. 

Terry Young’s 1st indictment charged him with 2 life sentences on Counts 1 and 2, and 20 years on Count 14.  On August 29, 2002, the Court affirmed the appellant’s convictions, but vacated his sentences and remanded them for resentencing.  The Court’s judgment and opinion made clear that the Court vacated Young’s sentences on all three counts of conviction.  It also stated that none of Young’s convictions can be considered crimes of violence.  The Government’s Response to Young’s rehearing also stated vacating Young’s sentence on Count 2, and remanding to the District Court for resentencing because the jury was not required to determine the quantity of drugs involved in Young’s offenses, “in accord with Apprendi, the District Court on remand may  not impose a sentence in excess of 20 years, the Government also stated, likewise, in resentencing on Count 1, the District Court will of course be OBLIGED to honor Apprendi, and to resentence Young to a maximum of 20 years imprisonment on that count as well, the Government Response also stated that Young’s Rehearing was unnecessary since this Court has already vacated Young’s sentence on Count 1, and said the District Court will impose a lawful sentence in accordance with Apprendi on remand.  It was then submitted by the United States Attorney and the Assistant United States Attorney in August 2002.   The Government instructed the Courts to remand both of Terry’s life sentences on Count 1 and on Count 2, to no more than 20 years maximum, so why is Mr. Young still serving life in prison?  Mr. Young has paid his debt to society.  He deserves to be released from prison immediately.  We are asking the Government and Courts to honor the Government’s Response and/or commute Young’s sentence to time already served.   

Even though Terry was given an unjust harsh sentence which didn’t fit the crime he was charged with, he never let that or his situation hinder him from being a strong & model prisoner.  Throughout his 17 years of imprisonment, Terry has educated himself, maintained a positive attitude, enhancing himself with positive programs and encouraging those around him.  He has completed over 250 classes and/or trainings in which he has received numerous certificates, awards, and accolades while in prison.  He has instructed numerous self-help, re-entry programs while serving his time productively.    Mr. Young earned his Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Governors State University in the fall of 2013, with a GPA of 3.8, graduating Cum Laude, while still in prison. He has earned many credentials to show himself and others that he has overcome many adversities of his past, and can effectively control his life once released from prison.  Several of his college professors have written and sent letters to the President and senators stating what a great student Mr. Young was and how he showed exemplary  willingness to be the best student, all while overcoming his current situation.  His current situation also includes serious health illnesses, which posed a threat to his life.

During his time of imprisonment, Terry Young has many supporters from many walks of life that have written several letters of support, urging our government to stand by their stance and open and review Terry’s case.  Once reviewed, you will see that he has served his time and that many errors were overlooked in his case on numerous occasions.  The main error overlooked was the Apprendi issue he did raise before sentencing, but was totally overlooked by the deciding judge on record. 

In closing, we can’t continue to sit back and let this type of injustice carry on.   Please support us in our fight for justice.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.
This petition was delivered to:

Veronica Jones started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,101 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.

Today: Veronica is counting on you

Veronica Jones needs your help with “Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole: President Obama: Commutation for Terry Young – Given 2 Life Sentences, even though his indictment did not state or include any drug types or any drug quantities.”. Join Veronica and 1,100 supporters today.