We started this petition 4 years ago on behalf of Derrick L. Hansford. With there being no change in Mr. Hansford's situation, we have decided to restart this petition with hopes that we will receive more names, more support and a greater opportunity to set him free!
Derrick L. Hansford, #1025525 is currently incarcerated within the Deerfield Correctional Facility located in Capron, VA where he is serving a 30 year sentence. Mr Hansford was sentenced to 50 years/20 suspended for a crime of 'robbery' without a weapon, and no physical assault upon the victim.
Mr Hansford has already served 19 years of the 30, but not without consistently working to obtain relief from this harsh and cruel sentence. Unfortunately, he has exhausted all remedies of appeal and habeas corpus.
Since his sentence, Mr Hansford has worked diligently to make positive changes in his life; and has done so successfully both spiritually and educationally. Mr Hansford is a father, his daughter being one year old at the time of his sentencing; he has embraced spirituality which has kept him grounded and allowed him the strength to change within; and he has attended school and since received his certification in drug and alcohol counseling with hopes to intervene in the lives of those suffering from addiction.
Please understand that we are not proclaiming Mr Hansford to be innocent of his crime, and believe that he should have been fairly punished. We are however proclaiming that serving 30 years for this particular crime is clearly harsh and excessive.
The issues of concern include:
1) Mr Hansford was sentenced based upon false and incorrect information pertaining to his 'pre-sentence report', which shows that there is and was a clear act of fraud committed by the probation officer who wrote the report. The documentation refers to Mr Hansford's 'Adult Criminal Summary' and 'Adult Criminal Record'.
2) Due to the information provided by the pre-sentence report, the sentencing judge sentenced Mr Hansford according to 'sentencing guidelines' that were incorrect. The court was supposed to have corrected the guidelines, which called for a sentencing range of six to eight months to 10 years and two months with a mid-point of eight years and eight months (a total score of 104). The correct guidelines for the sentencing range was two years and five months to five years with a mid-point of four years (a total score of 48). But the judge signed the incorrect guidelines as mentioned at the beginning of this petition.
3) Mr Hansford's attorney in an signed affidavit statement that he withheld information from Mr Hansford concerning the judge's practice and behavior of departing from the sentencing guidelines.
4) Mr Hansford's juvenile record from Paterson, NJ was used to support his adult criminal record by placing a juvenile misdemeanor charge of possession upon his adult record as a felony, as an adult. As records would show, the documentation was incorrect.
5) Mr Hansford's due process rights were violated; he could have never been given a fair appeal process because he did not have a complete transcript of his case. Mr Hansford's present transcript is dated May 21, 1996, but it only records the events of the sentencing post May 24, 1996; Mr Hansford had been unknowingly fighting and appealing his case for over 18 years without a complete transcript.
We, the Petitioners plead to the mercy of the Commonwealth of Virginia, asking that the severity of Mr Hansford’s sentence be recognized and addressed. We ask and call for a clemency or pardon; and ask that Mr Hansford be given an opportunity to a second chance to live as and become a productive member of society.