Demand Justice-Virginia Gave Mentally Ill Teen Two Life Sentences For non-Capital Crime!
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Chris Sharikas at a young age started suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and ended up committing a violent crime, a crime where his sentencing guidelines called for a 7 to 11 year sentence. The state knew that Chris suffered from a mental illness and sent him to a hospital for a short period with the hope that he would become competent to stand trial. The State returned Chris to Arlington County for sentencing. The county jail determined that Chris did not need the medications prescribed for his mental condition and decided to use a different approach. Chris' mental state deteriorated to the extent that he was no longer capable of showing remorse. This angered the Judge and he gave Chris maximum sentences.
At a Writ of Habeas Corpus hearing the Judge verbally confirmed the long sentences because he did not believe that Chris could recover from his illness. As a result Chris is serving multiple life sentences in a system of punishment because he is ill. Chris who never killed anyone has a longer sentence than the sniper who killed 22 people.
Since when in the United States do we sentence someone to prison simply because they are sick?
Please sign this petition to Governor Ralph Northam and ask him to pardon Chris so that he can receive care from a mental health care facility and not suffer a lifetime of punishment because he has a mental illness.
If you are a resident of Virginia, please fill free to also join the Treatment Advocacy Center petition as well. The Treatment Advocacy Center has a helpful tool http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/component/content/article/3997 that allows residents of Virginia – and only residents of Virginia -- to send a letter to Governor Northam urging him to take action. So, if you live in the commonwealth, please do so. It’s quick and easy. If you live outside of Virginia, pleasesign this petition to show your support.
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