Grant Clemency to Michael Holmes
This petition made change with 75,867 supporters!
On December 19, 2013, I was granted clemency by President Obama after serving 17 years of a life sentence for a nonviolent drug crime. I was the first Latino man to receive clemency from President Obama, and I will be eternally grateful that he gave me a second chance.
One of the men sentenced with me, my friend Michael Holmes, is still in prison. I’m asking President Obama to grant him clemency too. Please join me by signing my petition.
Like me, Michael was sentenced to life without parole in 1998 for our roles in selling crack cocaine. We were young, weren’t part of a gang, and our case did not include guns or violence. Still, we received life. Another friend sentenced with us, Israel Torres, was granted clemency by President Obama along with me -- Michael is just as deserving of a second chance.
At his sentencing, Michael’s judge voiced his opposition to the mandatory minimum life sentence he had to hand down: "Well, I certainly take no pleasure in sentencing a 25-year-old man to life imprisonment; you can believe me when I say that. And I have thought about this a good deal… Congress has enacted these laws.”
Under today’s laws, it’s unlikely Michael would have received a life sentence -- there was a sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine at the time. For example, the supplier in our case was given 12 years because he had powder cocaine as opposed to crack cocaine. Even though those sentencing guidelines have changed, they don’t apply retroactively, meaning Michael will die in prison without clemency.
Michael has taken full responsibility for his actions and he has paid for them dearly. We both have. He is now 42-years-old and I believe he can do great things outside of prison and that he deserves a chance at a new life with his parents, family, and friends.
President Obama has now granted clemency to more nonviolent drug offenders than the last nine presidents combined. On August 3, 2016 he granted 214 commutations and five of those recipients had Change.org petitions -- so your signature helps!
Please sign and help us give Michael Holmes the same second chance that I had.
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Jason Hernandez needs your help with “President Obama: Clemency for Michael Holmes”. Join Jason and 75,866 supporters today.