To Gov. Hogan: “Release Alfred Brown, unjustly serving life in prison”
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1,000 SIGNATURES NEEDED: Unlike 47 other states, Maryland law provides that individuals serving life sentences “may only be paroled with the approval of the Governor.” In the past 20 years, ZERO parole-eligible persons have been released, except for medical reasons.
Because Governor O’Malley failed to take action on ANY parole recommendations, the legislature changed the Maryland code to require swifter action. Maryland now requires the Governor to decide within 180 days about parole recommendations for people who have served at least 25 years of their life sentence. Governor Hogan campaigned on moving more quickly, but has neglected to do so.
While the politics plays out, Alfred Lee Brown remains in prison as a result of an unjust sentence from 40 years ago. In 1978, Alfred Lee Brown of Calvert County drunkenly broke into a home in Prince Frederick. The homeowner, a white woman over 70 years of age, claimed that the 19-year-old black man tried to sexually assault her. Mr. Brown was charged with a felony assault with intent to rape, which carried a maximum penalty of 15 years.
Mr. Brown denied the assault and refused to plead guilty. The judge, state’s attorney, and court-appointed public defender convinced Mr. Brown to plead to the misdemeanor charge of attempted rape. No one informed Mr. Brown that “attempted” charges do not have a maximum penalty. Mr. Brown’s family was called and informed that they need not come to court on the trial date because the matter had been worked out.
Upon pleading guilty to attempted rape, Mr. Brown was sentenced to life in prison. Had he gone to trial on the felony and been convicted, the most he could have received was 15 years and would have been eligible for parole without the Governor’s consent.
By the time anyone realized what had happened, the eligible time for appeals had expired. Mr. Brown only had the issue of “ineffective assistance of counsel” to take to the Court of Appeals. As late as June 17, 2017, the court again denied Mr. Brown’s appeal, citing that the courts have no control over the actual reason Mr. Brown remains in prison: politics and the Governor’s unwillingness to consent to parole.
The purpose of this petition is to call for the release of Alfred Lee Brown, either by approving his parole or commuting his sentence. Both of these acts are in the sole discretion of Governor Larry Hogan. Mr. Brown’s case number is 04 k78000008.
The goal is AT LEAST 1,000 signatures to present a unified case to Governor Hogan. Please share with churches, community groups, friends, and family. And let’s make this injustice go viral by everyone sharing on social media and asking for signatures.
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