Grant Clemency to Robert Griffin (J.R.)
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We need your help to bring my brother home. My brother was our “Bo Jackson”; he played in all sports and mastered them all. He received numerous awards and trophies. We lost our father when my brother was only ten years old. Due to complications of Agent Orange, when serving the Army in Vietnam. After the loss of our father, my brother became depressed. He was no longer an honor roll student, he also had an opportunity to go to a prestigious high school on a full scholarship. My mother reached out to our family, community leaders, coaches and even Pastors. But, no one was able to be the male figure that he desperately needed in his life.
My brother had the opportunity to go to Florida with a family member in pursuit of a better life. After several months the family member returned to New Jersey but without my brother. We later found out that he had been arrested.
When I looked at the court records it indicates that a person in the case is noted as a witness, when they should be a co-defendant. This shows me the “witness” took a plea deal and gave false information about my brother, to save himself. The court charged my brother Robert Griffin with principal to robbery with a firearm, when the Judge states in the court transcript that he did not have possession of the firearm. In the court transcript Assistant State Attorney Ms. Binkley states that my brother should get the same charges as another defendant, who was charged with having the firearm. The court transcript also stated that he should be charged with trespassing but instead they gave him a greater charge of burglary, which carries more time. This clearly shows that my brother was charged unfairly with excessive sentencing.
My mother and I drove to Florida to see an attorney and gave him $3000.00 to represent Robert. But because of financial limits we could not continue to retain him. My brother told us that the lawyer did not properly represent him during the trial, we knew it was because of the money. Later, I contacted another lawyer in Florida and paid him over $2500.00 to represent Robert’s motions and appeals. But the lawyer never spoke to or represented my brother. When I contacted the Florida bar to file a complaint, I found out he had been disbarred. They told me to file a claim for a refund, but, I am still waiting for the claim to be processed. I then retained a lawyer from Pennsylvania, who said he could have my brother transferred to a federal facility. After sending over $1500.00 he has only made excuses why the transfer has not happened. Then I spoke to a lawyer in Florida, who looked at his paperwork and said she could do an appeal, after my family sent her $500.00, she said that there is nothing she can do and said she has closed the case.
While we are dealing with lawyer nightmares, my brother was beat up by a Lieutenant at the Charlotte Correctional Institution, which is known for officer misconduct. Robert filed a complaint against the lieutenant and he was demoted. My brother was then transferred to Suwannee Correctional Institution where on the first day they used excessive force and left him with bruises and marks on his face. My brother said there was a camera but neither supervisor Ms. Gartman nor Ms. Howell said they were aware of such incident. He also has complaints from two other institutions, which include food poisoning by an officer and sexual harassment.
Since the first incident at Charlotte Correctional Institution, he has had several suicidal episodes and has sent letters home expressing his mental anguish. My brother recently stated that he has not been given proper mental health treatment at Union Correctional Institution. He is harassed by officers, including not getting his mail. His medication has been increased and he has become more mentally distressed. Although he has not received the proper treatment from the Florida Correctional Institutions, he has obtained his GED and certificates from the rethinking personal choices program.
My brother has not always made the best choices, however, he does not deserve the treatment that he has been given. Since my family lives in New Jersey we did not see my brother in over twelve years, until May 2016 when Assistant Warden Rossiter granted permission for a special visit. My family and I saw my brother and broke down into tears. It was a bitter sweet moment.
My family request is for my brother to receive time served, through commutation of sentence or a pardon. Robert has served 12 years without proper medical treatment. Please help us bring him home so my mother can stop living this nightmare.
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