Rasheedah's Right-Free Rasheedah Smith

Rasheedah's Right-Free Rasheedah Smith

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Petition to
Governor Gavin Newsom and

Why this petition matters


We need your help. 

Let’s encourage Gavin Newsom and other locally elected officials to right a great wrong. Rasheedah Smith must be freed immediately. Read more about the night that led to a 15-year-old serving a 15-to-life sentence for a crime that she did not commit.

May 21, 2010, was the night that would drastically explode and change the trajectory of Rasheedah Smith’s life. That night would morph from a group of young friends excited for a simple everyday house party into a 15-to-life sentence for then 15-year-old Rasheedah.

Rasheedah was 4’7” at the age of 15. Small in stature but big in energy. Rasheedah was often described as jovial and kind.  She was a good student who loved her family and friends. She loved to dance and excelled academically. Rasheedah dreamed of going to college at a young age and she even began college courses while in middle school.

A fateful night in Barstow, California, forced Rasheedah into a dilemma that caused her to exercise a daring display of loyalty, love, and sacrifice (far beyond her small stature and adolescent years). A fight broke out at the house party that night. The result led to Rasheeda taking responsibility for the fatal stabbing of Chawnteera Harrod. Harrod’s life was tragically ended that night, but Rasheedah was not the one responsible for this horrible loss. 

Rasheedah told authorities that she was responsible for what transpired. Her only true offense was wanting to cover and protect her then 23-year-old sister Charnisha who was actually responsible for the stabbing. At that time, Rasheedah believed that she could protect her older sister from a harsh prison sentence because she was a minor and less likely to receive a penalty that was as severe.

This moment of sacrifice has shaped the last ten years of Rasheedah’s life. The little teenager who wanted to protect and cover her older sister lost over a decade of her youth to a prison sentence that she did not truly deserve.

Rasheedah is now an adult. Childhood left her that critical night when she had to choose between love and freedom. As an adult, Rasheeda has consistently spoken of her innocence throughout her prison sentence. 

Excelling academically and learning new things is Rasheedah's focus. Helping youth make better decisions in the face of uncertainty is her passion.  Rasheedah achieved an Associate’s degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences and an AAS in Psychology. Rasheeda has completed several mental health-related courses and over 80 certificates. She developed competencies in construction and computer skills. She will use her education and experience to help others make better decisions.

Rasheedah is a woman of faith. She enjoys studying the bible and completing biblical study courses. Rasheedah also enjoys listening to Hill Song United and other worship music. Her kindness and gentleness are well known.

We have to continue to rally together to help Rasheedah come home. Join our mission! Sign the petition and write letters; let's help Rasheedah today!


254 have signed. Let’s get to 500!