April 19, 2020
Petition to
President of the United States Joseph Biden
Signatures: 639Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Shannon Canning

Shawn Leo Barth has been incarcerated since July 2003!  His current release date is March, 2026, however, all that time for a nonviolent drug offense is just too much.  The Sentencing Guidelines mandated the Judge to give him LIFE.  He filed for Clemency and in 2016 and President Obama granted him relief to his current sentence.  Read below, this was written by Shawn and will give you an idea of the man that he is.

First and foremost, I am so very sorry for my actions, as I realize today, I was an addict and I bought and sold weed and meth to support my drug habit.  It was a cycle of events where my addiction got out of control, and I was caught up in a cycle of destruction and did not care about people or life in general! I hurt a lot of people who cared about me. My addiction took over my being! I was high and living in a fog every day and couldn't seem to get out of it.  I kept getting deeper and deeper to fuel my addictions. 

It wasn't until I was sentenced to die in prison that I realized what my life had become due to my poor choices and addiction. I was hanging around nothing but people in that lifestyle. I pushed my family and everyone who loved me away from me to try and hide what I had become!

Looking back as I write this, I realize just how crazy my life was and how out of control it was. 

Today, I'm proud to say I have been sober for 20 years now, have made amends, and have the tools to overcome my addictions and short comings. I have rebuilt my relationships with my family and am a better person for it.

As the man I am today, I will use my past stumbling blocks as steppingstones for a better life for myself.  I will always share my story with others on just how easy it is to fall into the pitfalls of addiction and destruction when you hang around negative people.  Today I live a productive lifestyle with meaning and purpose and strive every day to be a better person. I have hurt a lot of people and have taken the time over the years to write them telling them how sorry I am for the way I had treated them, for the drugs I sold them and did with them!  That is a lifestyle I don’t ever want to see again and will always try to help others get out of because there is way more to life then drugs and prison.  That lifestyle always ends in the destruction of everything it touches, and the end results are prison or death.

In writing this, I am reminded of the horrors I saw and caused, and I am so very sorry for all of it.  I don’t take what has happened lightly, and I have vowed to maintain my sobriety and healthy relationships moving forward. I know the man I have become is ready to live a law-abiding lifestyle.

I am seeking clemency because I have been incarcerated for 20 years, and while I am most grateful for being granted Clemency from my LIFE sentence in 2016, I wish to express that I am still doing well, and still taking rehabilitative courses to better myself. 

I have been a model inmate and my prison record speak for itself. I have had one incident report in 20 years, and it was for sending a picture of me and a few friends together as I was holding my Clemency papers. It was a minor incident report, and I lost my phone privileges for 24 hours. I have been to some tough prisons in my time and have worked my way down from a maximum-security prison in Florence, Colorado, to being at a camp in Yankton, South Dakota. My daughters have all grown and have beautiful families of their own now and I have been blessed with 2 beautiful granddaughters and 2 handsome little grandsons.  I have yet to meet my grandchildren in person or hold them in my arms, and I look forward to that day!  They are a true blessing to me from God! Life is about family, it’s the most important thing in this world that I will never take for granted again! I want my family, children, and grandchildren to be proud of me and the choices I make.  Today every choice I make, I make it with the thought of how it will affect them, and will it make them proud to say that's my son, Brother, Dad, Granddaddy.

I am no longer a threat to society, and I am of the age where recidivism is low.  I am not the same person I was when I entered the Federal Bureau of Prisons 20 years ago.  My thinking is clear, and my mind is right and ready to enter society.  I believe I have done my time – and now more than ever, I believe the greatest blessing of being granted clemency to time served is one I would never take for granted.

Thank you for taking the time to read and support my petition.

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Decision Makers

  • Joseph BidenPresident of the United States