Bring Ben Home / Juvenile Executive Order 208

Bring Ben Home / Juvenile Executive Order 208

August 1, 2022
Petition to
Former NC Legislative / Civil Rights Henry McKinley “Mickey” Michaux Jr
Signatures: 129Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Priscilla Soles

Benjamin Peterson has been incarcerated for approximately 30 years since he was 17. Violating his 8th Amendment Constitutional Right (Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted).  

The average sentence for murder in America? Among those that received prison sentences, the average minimum term was just over 8.5 years and the average aggregate sentence was 11.8 years. In North Carolina those who committed a murder, 100 percent received a prison sentence, with an average term of 20 years and an average aggregate sentence of 25 years. the average time served for murder or non negligent manslaughter would be 11.2 years. He’s already been incarcerated for 30 years since the young tender age of 17.

We’ve been in Love since we were kids with dreams of getting married, but this happened. For years we didn’t think that we would ever have a chance of having a life and future together in a normal sense of him being on the outside. However, we received a letter about Juvenile Executive Order 208 that should affect his/ our situation. I would like to ask that Governor Cooper grant Benjamin clemency so that we may finally get a chance at a life of growing old together in each other’s arms. He already has a life out here waiting for him; we have a home / farm on 4 acres near where he grew up in Riegelwood NC, we have a business Apex Logistics & Transports, LLC, and a wife / family anxiously awaiting his return. .

Benjamin is a good man with a beautiful heart even after growing up in the confinement of prison. He is an inspiration to me and countless people who have crossed paths with him. In the past 30 years, he has taken every opportunity to improve himself and help others.

 How You Can Help Benjamin Peterson’s family and supporters have set up this petition to gather signatures to advocate for his clemency. Please add your name (and address if you live in North Carolina) to call for his release. *

Please note: Including your address with your name—especially authentic North Carolina State addresses—is a HUGE help. Because hearing from his own state residents will carry even more weight for Gov. Cooper, it will boost Ben’s chances of freedom. 

I sincerely thank you for taking the time to learn about someone who means so much to our family

On April 8, 2021, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the formation of the North Carolina Juvenile Sentence Review Board (“Review Board”). Governor Cooper referenced well-known facts, saying “[d]evelopments in science continue to show fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds. For those who have taken significant steps to reform and rehabilitate themselves, this process can provide a meaningful opportunity for release and a life outside of prison.”

Executive Order 208 (“EO 208”) creates a four-person advisory board to review qualifying sentences imposed in North Carolina on defendants who were convicted and sentenced in adult courts for acts committed while juveniles under the age of 18.

The Review Board will conduct a comprehensive, individualized review based on criteria outlined in EO 208, to include rehabilitation and maturity demonstrated by the individual contrasted with developmental immaturity at the time the crime was committed; presence of adult co-defendant or accomplices; and mental health at the time of the crime. The Review Board will also consider input from the families of both the defendant and the victim; potential risk to society posed by defendant if released; and whether race had an undue influence on the trial or the sentencing. The North Carolina Juvenile Sentence Review Board is a recommendation of the Governor’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice which found that the group of people subject to EO 208 are disproportionately Black.

Qualifying individuals must have served at least 20 years of their sentence (or 15 years in cases of consecutive or “stacked” sentences) before petitioning for review. After the review, the Review Board will make recommendations for clemency or commutation where appropriate. 

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Signatures: 129Next Goal: 200
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Henry McKinley “Mickey” Michaux JrFormer NC Legislative / Civil Rights