In August 2011, Donald Perry -- a soup kitchen manager and homeless outreach worker -- picked up a homeless man and gave him a ride to a nearby town.
Along the way they were stopped by a state police officer. Shortly before Donald stopped the truck the homeless man fled -- leaving his possessions behind. When the police officer searched the truck he found stolen items amongst the homeless man’s possessions.
Donald was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property. From the beginning, Donald proclaimed his innocence but spent almost a year in jail waiting for his trial.
When his case finally went before a judge and jury this past July 2012, Donald was acquitted of all charges.
But Donald is still not free.
The same day of his acquittal, Donald was returned to the local jail and then transferred to a state penitentiary at MCI Shirley MA. Donald is currently being held because in 1983, he received a 2nd Degree Life sentence for an Armed Robbery.
The Massachusetts Parole Board must now decide whether to re-parole Donald. During the ten years that he was on parole prior to his arrest in August of 2011, Donald was, by all accounts, one of the Board’s great success stories. At the time of his arrest, Donald was employed as Program Manager of the Not Bread Alone Soup Kitchen in Amherst, MA and as Project Coordinator of the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Outreach Program in Northampton, MA.
Unfortunately, even after spending nearly a year behind bars awaiting his trial date, and then being acquitted of the charges, Donald now finds himself still incarcerated and at the mercy of the parole board for his freedom.
We are friends, acquaintances, neighbors, associates, and co-workers of Donald Perry. We are asking you to please sign our petition encouraging the Massachusetts Parole Board to vote in favor of immediately releasing Donald back into our community.
Elaine Arsenault started this petition with a single signature, and now has 150,363 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.