Commute Ceasar McDowell's Unjust Sentence

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Ceasar McDowell has been given three concurrent life sentences under California's "Three Strikes" law, with his third strike resulting from a non-violent domestic dispute.

Background: In his community, Ceasar was well known for being a great father to his children and a hard working provider for his wife and children. He was always very involved in his children's schooling, after school programs, and taking the kids to-and-from school daily.

One day after returning home, Ceasar was informed that his wife and the mother of his children was having an affair with a local Riverside, California police officer.

This was the cause for Ceasar and his wife to have an argument that lasted on and off for a few days. There was screaming and yelling about the affair, which is not unusual for a married couple in this circumstance, but there was no physical harm or violence.

As Ceasar packed his things to leave while they still continued to argue, the neighbors, over-hearing the argument, decided to call the police.

This phone call to the police ended with Ceasar, who was 26 years old at the time, being sentenced to three concurrent life sentences under California's draconian "Three Strikes" law - for criminal threats, misdemeanor false imprisonment, and misdemeanor child endangerment (arguing in front of a child). At the time, many also believed Ceasar was treated unfairly by the courts because of his ex-wife's affair being with a police officer.

California's "Three Strikes" law is the harshest in the nation and routinely results in multiple mandatory sentences for non-violent offenders.

Now, 18 years later at 44 years old, Ceasar has missed out on his children's entire lives. He's missed their proms, birthdays, holidays, the births of his grandchildren, etc. His children were also deprived of their father.

With no good time credits allowed for the majority of his sentence (fortunately, Prop 57 changed this and he has accrued 10 months so far), Ceasar will have served nearly 25 years before attaining eligibility for parole, at a cost of nearly $2 million to California taxpayers.

Ceasar has filed for a sentence commutation with Governor Gavin Newsom. We are asking everyone to sign this petition and support us in asking Governor Newsom to please commute Ceasar McDowell's sentence. Thank you.