Free James Dumas

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In 1975 James Dumas was convicted for murder and armed robbery and was sentenced to 100-150 years in prison. To date, he has served 45 years for this crime. James is a “C” number prisoner, which means he was sentenced prior to 1978 under Illinois’ indeterminate sentencing scheme and is statutorily eligible for parole. C number prisoners are some of the oldest living inmates in Illinois and often have the most educational and vocational accomplishments. These men generally have the opportunity to come before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board once a year and present a plan for release. James will go before the Board in August 2020.

Over the last four decades, James has become a model inmate. He has educated himself, learned from his mistakes, and continues to make amends while devoting his life to Christianity and God. Religion has played an active role in his rehabilitation and as he increasingly relies on his faith in God, he continues to grow into a better man.

While incarcerated James has found ways to become productive, inventive, and take initiative wherever he sees the opportunity. Particularly, he has developed sewing skills and has held a job as a tailor for the Illinois Department of Corrections for over 27 years. Sewing is his way of exploring creativity through a useful form of artistry. In addition to sewing, James is also an avid reader. From Tolstoy to Turgenev, his passion for reading speaks volumes about his character and since his incarceration has held a special place within his heart.

Although he has already spent 45 long years serving time in prison, his sentence was not intended to be a death sentence. Unfortunately, James has pre-existing health conditions that make him more vulnerable as time goes on. Given the circumstances, if he were inflicted with COVID-19, his chances of recovery would be heavily reduced. The urgency of his release is pivotal.

James Dumas is 76 years old and has spent over half his life atoning for his mistakes. As an indeterminately sentenced prisoner, he has proven during this time that he’s capable of rehabilitation and that his release would no longer pose an unacceptable risk to society. We hope you will stand with us and say that the purposes of his incarceration has been fulfilled and further confinement no longer serves a purpose. Thank you for any support you are willing to lend James during this critical time!