Cristian had just turned 12-years old when he was unjustly detained in Jacksonville Florida and overcharged as an adult by state attorney Angela Corey. It was an inconceivable and misguided act to charge a preteen abused and neglected boy as an adult, especially when the facts clearly show that the mother's negligence of not seeking medical help for over 8 hours was the main cause behind the unfortunate death of the younger brother two days later.
After spending 2 years detained waiting for a resolution, Cristian pleaded in February 2013 to lesser charges and now faces 5 more years in juvenile detention. Hundreds of thousands of people following the case strongly believe that Cristian is innocent and that he should have never been incarcerated and charged. Cristian should have been released long ago because he is still a child and the circumstances of the tragic incident show that this was an involuntary accident between unsupervised children, aggravated by their mother’s negligence and DCF’s lack of assistance. Despite experiencing abuse, neglect, and abandonment through most of his young life, Cristian had no prior record and had been a dedicated student wanting to help his mother and younger siblings. The sentence is grossly unfair because Cristian, a preteen boy, is being robbed of his childhood by the State of Florida under your administration. Instead of being given the opportunity to be raised as a child with a caring family, the state of Florida is forcing Cristian to spend his youth in a juvenile jail. It is truly shameful and unprecedented in the history of Florida that an abused and neglected boy is being punished for the mistakes and failures of the adults around him.
On March 7, 2013, public defender Matt Shirk who initially took the case came out publicly and said that Cristian was innocent: “At that time, we were presented with an option that draws from both the adult and juvenile justice systems, but we had become convinced of his innocence and intended to show reasonable doubt of his guilt at trial.” (http://jacksonville.com/opinion/premium-opinion/2013-03-07/story/public-defender-says-cristian-fernandez-case-worked-out).
Cristian is innocent and needs to be released. He has already spent over 2 and a half years of his young life in detention. How will spending 5 more years in detention help him? Cristian deserves a real opportunity with a loving family. Governor Scott, you have the power to do the right thing for Cristian and commute the remaining sentence. Use your executive powers to correct the injustice against Cristian. Sincerely, [Your name]
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