Equal Justice: We Demand Resentencing for Harsh Punishment
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I ,Billy D. Williams, A BLACK AMERICAN FATHER, was convicted of a robbery and sentenced to 30 years in prison. My sentence consisted of a 5 year base term and an additional 25 years were added due to gun enhancements. Back in 2011-2012 at my time of sentencing, I passed up a 5 year plea deal, only to then be sentenced to 30 years under a then “mandatory minimum” sentencing law. Since then, our Governors and lawmakers have signed into effect new sentencing laws in “REMEDY” to our country’s mass incarceration/overcrowded prison systems of which black men, such as myself, have predominantly been victims of.
In October of 2017, Governor Brown signed into law SB620 Gun Enhancements.
I, Billy D. Williams, to whom several appeals have been granted, am STILL dealing with sentencing issues. My case became final 100 days before the signing of the new law by Governor Brown, thereby calling into question the issue of “RETROACTIVITY”. Even though I was harshly sentenced, I’ve kept the faith and perspective that God will bring about good from this bad situation. I’ve used these last NINE years strengthening, bettering, and educating myself in preparation for a time like this, with the new sentencing laws being passed. I see this time as a sign and as an outlet from God. I believe that under the EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE in the law, that I am entitled to be resentenced like EVERY other American.
I am writing this letter today as a PROUD Black American Father. I did not take a 5 year plea deal because of my responsibilities as a father, which have now come full circle. We are at a turning point in our country and democracy, with equal justice being a focal point for Black Americans, with our cries that our Constitution needs to work for us as Black Americans, as well as for EVERY other American citizen. My case is a PRIME EXAMPLE of these injustices in equality when it comes to Black Americans and the judicial system. I know that our Constitution is a beautiful living supreme law, a beautiful stance of liberty and justice, and that it’s bigger than me. I would love for my case to be a resolution that could bridge the gap between the beliefs that we are all Americans. Feeling and knowing that we are all Americans gives us hope of belonging, and a sense of taking care of our land and property, just as graduating with degrees allows one to know that they can reach their full potential. I would love to be an example of putting our country on the RIGHT side of history. It gives me a significant feeling for my mistakes and horrible decisions, and triumph can play its part in our healing process.
Please allow me to tell you about my children, whom I LOVE dearly. I’m a father of 5 children and 2 grandchildren. I know what it’s like to be a child or teen growing up in America, having the mindframe of running from the law with a rebellious attitude. I wholeheartedly DO NOT want my babies to grow up with that perspective as it is usually a terrible downhill spiral that occurs after that. It hurts me to hear my daughters say, “run here comes the police”, or “be quiet the police are listening”. That mindframe is not what I want my babies to grow up with. I would prefer them to dream of being a police officer, politician, run for office, firefighter, doctor, lawyer….etc. I want nothing more than for them to grow up in America with the feeling that they belong, growing up as PROUD Americans, pursuing their full potential, and reaching their dreams and goals knowing that their voices and small duties are playing a significant part in the world.
So, for me to receive “EQUAL JUSTICE” means more than just my freedom for myself. It is a “Right Act” that will inspire and give hope to a generation while showing that we are EQUAL in the eyes of EVERYONE. I know it must be a wonderful feeling to know that one is an American, and part of a great nation.
I am a Black Father who hasn’t died from racial violence, but I am living proof of racial bias and part of the problem with the mass incarceration crisis. I honestly feel I was harshly and inhumanly sentenced. I have been locked down for 9 years now, and I have exhausted all of my remedies. Several new laws have been signed into effect regarding the easing of the “mass incarceration” problems, and with “EQUALITY and JUSTICE” at the focal point. I believe that I should be considered under these new laws and I believe I have the right to be resentenced under new said laws SB620, AB2942, AB1618, and maybe other laws that have been passed to help repair the injustice in America. I strongly believe my case has the potential to be an example of compromise and a sense of duty. If there is a thought of how one could help, please sign this petition and call/email San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
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