Grant Clemency for Rickie Blue-Sky!

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Transgender Advocacy Group started this petition to California Governor Gavin Newsom

Rickie Blue-Sky (W20937) is a Native-American transgender man who has been incarcerated for 37 years. He is now 75 years old and has been denied parole for over 20 years. As COVID-19 infections reach crisis levels in California prisons, Blue-Sky is classified as having dangerously high medical risk if he contracts the virus. In addition to his advanced age, Blue-Sky has chronic respiratory health problems. Please join us in urging Governor Newsom to grant immediate release for Rickie Blue-Sky.

Blue-Sky was unable to have a fair trial in 1984 because of the persistent gender discrimination he experienced in court, including by his own attorney. Despite the fact that the prosecution relied on unsubstantiated and questionable claims, Blue-Sky’s defense failed to effectively challenge his criminalization. His trial became a media circus, as attorneys, jurors and journalists speculated about what Blue-Sky’s non-conforming gender and sexuality meant about his “criminal nature.”

After 37 years in prison, Blue-Sky continues to be incarcerated because of gender discrimination at parole as well as unlawful bias against him for maintaining his innocence. In multiple hearings, the parole board and District Attorney have used Blue-Sky’s transgender identity as "evidence" of his deception and dangerousness, thereby deeming him a risk to public safety. Despite his achievements in prison, his exemplary prison record, and his well-developed parole plans, Blue-Sky has been denied parole since 2000.  

Blue-Sky’s positive programming and 37 years as a peacemaker in prison speak to his clear preparedness for release. In a prison context where transgender people face increased hostility and violence, Blue-Sky is a peaceful leader, a well-respected elder and a mentor. He has worked tirelessly for transgender and Native American rights while imprisoned, including facilitating two-spirit/transgender support groups, and winning the right for people in California prisons to conduct Native American religious programs.

Blue-Sky has the support of a wide network of family, friends and advocates who are eager to welcome him home. With your help, he will return to his beloved sisters and his Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho, where extensive elder services and community support await him.

Blue-Sky is a peacemaker who strives to create a more just world everyday. Our communities will benefit greatly from his release. Please join us in asking Governor Newsom to grant immediate release for Rickie Blue-Sky.

Transgender Advocacy Group (TAG): Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Justice Now, Medina Orthwein LLP, National Lawyers Guild: Prisoner Advocacy Project

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