Please pardon Daniel Lopez #355282!
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This is important to me because the mandatory minimum sentence for a first time drug offense is bias and unreasonable for a non-violent offense. As a result of these unreasonable sentences, many families are being disbanded; which perpetuates the same societal offense cycle. Convicted murderers, rapists and pedophiles often serve less than half the amount of time a drug and/or firearm offender receive. Regardless if the weapon was used or brandished. The current prison system in the United States is over crowded as a result of bias mandatory sentences. A poll conducted by Families Against Mandatory Minimums, shows that 77% of Americans are supporting the elimination of mandatory minimums. I am asking for your help by signing this petition to support my friend Daniel Lopez. Daniel is currently incarcerated because his Constitutional rights were violated. Daniel was sentenced without appearing in court and was given 25 years, without the possibility of parole, for a first time offense in South Carolina; this is considered a mandatory minimum sentence for drug charges in the State of South Carolina. Again, in comparison, violent crime offenders only do 65% of their sentence on average before being assimilated back into society. In addition, convicted violent criminals are often eligible to appear before the parole board. This is why I feel that the mandatory drug offense sentence is bias. It is an unfair, cruel, unusual punishment and therefore unconstitutional. There is a non-partisan opposition to mandatory minimum sentences: Democratic Attorney General Eric Holder, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont are all against mandatory minimum drug sentences. It is there belief that mandatory minimum drug sentences are costly, unfair and has not lowered the crime rate in the United States. It is a waste of the tax payer's money! They are fighting to cut mandatory minimum for drug sentences. Additionally, Daniel was initially stopped for a traffic violation, the officer issued him a warning and said he was free to go. The officer then said he was going to seize Daniel's car to search it. This was a violation of Daniel's Fourth Amendment Right and did an illegal search and seizure. Suspiciously, Daniel's arresting officer never submitted the video from the traffic stop with his report. The officer claims the video footage was lost and irretrievable! Currently, Daniel is in the process of trying to appeal his conviction, because his court appointed lawyer from his 2005 arrest did not provide him adequate and proper representation within the confines of the law. Daniel's lawyer should have had went on record when the Judge read his sentence. The attorney should have requested an appeal and when it was denied he should have filed a motion for a reconsideration for the sentence, on the record. However, he failed to follow due process! He never filed any motions at all which led to Daniel forfeiting any chance to have the conviction overturned. Daniel is the father of two children whom he misses very much! The oldest child is struggling to pay for college and meet financial obligations on their own. The youngest child is currently 7 yrs old who cries daily for her father and traumatized by the separation. Daniel's parents are both elderly, live out of state and are a considerable distance from where he is incarcerated, whom he may never ever see again. All of this is why I am asking you for your help PLEASE by signing this petition! Because this injustice is unfair and not right. Asking South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, United States Attorney General Loretta E Lynch and United States Pardon Attorney Deborah Leff for a pardon. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. Please help Daniel to see and help his children grow up and see and assist his elderly parents again. Daniel had already tried to appeal his case. However, legal fees and costs are extremely costly. Many reputable Lawyers are asking for $30,000 to begin the process. Daniel was struggling financially before he became incarcerated. Trying to support his family. As a result of Daniel's incarceration he lost all of the limited property that he possessed entirely. Daniel's family and friends all live out of state and are unable to provide the kind of support needed to fight this injustice. Which is why I am adamantly trying to bring awareness and support his cause. While incarcerated Daniel has been staying positive by being very active as a yoga instructor, second chance instructor, going to school to become a counselor, as well as also going to school to become a mechanic. So, if you could please find it in your heart to help Daniel; by just taking a moment of your time to sign this petition. Daniel, would be beyond grateful. I appreciate you all taking the time to read Daniel's story and signing this petition. Thank you in advance for all your help and kindness. May God bless you and all your families!
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