CLEMENCY for Ricardo Riojas 75 year old elderly inmate serving LIFE for Marijuana
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I am the daughter of Ricardo Riojas, a 75-year-old man who has served almost 23 years in a federal prison. My father was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a marijuana-only drug conspiracy case.
My father is wheelchair bound and in poor health. He was taken into custody in 1996 along with 78 additional people who were charged with conspiracy. This included my mother and sisters. Being from a small town with no prior education in law my family members did what the lawyers advised them to do. They were told to plead guilty in exchange for 20 years instead of LIFE. It took 6 years for my father to be sentenced. He took full responsibility for his own actions and cooperated. At sentencing, he believed he was going to receive 20 years and instead he was given LIFE without parole.
Why would anyone plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence? My father was not awarded an adjustment for acceptance of responsibility. Seven people were given LIFE SENTENCES for marijuana.
Last year four of those people given LIFE sentences were granted clemency by President Obama. My father has accepted full responsibility for his actions. He has used this time to become involved in guitar lessons and health education.
Unfortunately, my father is aging in prison and has lost his abilty to be agile and strong. He has difficulty dressing himself, showering and even getting to the cafeteria. He has glaucoma which makes it difficult for him to see and he has problems swallowing. At times he has talked about taking his own life so he won't be a burden to other inmates, which is also embarassing for him to seek the help of another man to simply get dressed.
My father is a good man with an incredibly gentle heart, he deserves to be home. He is a father to four daughters and one deceased. He has 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. We are asking for President Trump to grant clemency to my father so that he can have an opportunity to visit his daughter's grave and spend his last years with his family that loves him dearly and will care for him.
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