Petition to President Barack Obama
Clemency for Terry Anderson, serving 30 years for nonviolent drug offense.
Terry Anderson is a 53-year-old woman, who has served 20 years of a 30 year sentence in a nonviolent drug and money laundering case. She is a mother of identical twin daughters, a daughter, a sister, and a friend to many who deserves a second chance. Here’s Terry’s story in her own words: “I have been separted from my 2 twin girls since they were 12 years old. My parents have lovingly raised them, but it's been so hard on them. I see them only once every couple of months. They are now 32. They have had a hard time understanding why people who commit murder get less time than I got. It is hard to put into words how bad this has affected them. My parents have been hurt terribly too. I am their youngest child and we were always so close. I understand that I needed to be punished and that I was wrong. I just pray that I am considered worthy of mercy because I truly do understand that my behavior led to my own demise and I will never disappoint my family again by compromising myself or them when it comes to the collateral damage that accompanies drug use and/or dealing.” Terry was really a middle person. Her involvement was far less than others in her case. But based on her husband’s testimony and her refusal to “cooperate,” she got a “kingpin” status even though she was never caught with drugs or money. The five men in her case have been in and out of prison, were caught with LOTS of money, drugs, assets, even guns, and are all out of prison today. Terry started her 30 year sentence in 1996 with a determination to make positive changes.She began to believe for the first time in many years that she was a woman of worth and was not defined by her past which consisted of drug addiction and physical abuse. She graduated from the Change Program which helps incarcerated women rebuild their lives and became a mentor to many young women as they came into the system. Between 1997 and 2011 she completed several computer courses, a computer apprenticeship and logged 2000 hours computer clerical time. Once released, she’s prepared to work. Terry's parents are getting older and she hopes for an opportunity to spend time with, and take care of them, before it's too late and to make up for any suffering her choices have caused the family. Read more about Terry's case - she is #7 on the CAN-DO Top 25. Please sign this petition and ask President Obama to help bring Terry Anderson home.
Petition to Terry McAuliffe
Please Stop the Imminent Execution of Ivan Teleguz, an Innocent Man
The Commonwealth of Virginia plans to execute an innocent man, Ivan Teleguz. We need to make sure Governor McAuliffe knows that there is too much evidence of Ivan’s innocence to allow this execution to go ahead. Please join the call for the Governor to intervene. The government’s case against Ivan was based on false evidence. Three men said that Ivan hired Stephanie’s killer. But two of those men have since admitted that they lied in court – and sworn under oath that Ivan was not involved. The third, Michael Hetrick, confessed to killing Stephanie. He was offered a deal that spared his own life in return for saying that Ivan hired him to commit the murder. The prosecutor coerced the witnesses. The witnesses have sworn under oath that they gave false testimony at trial because of threats from the prosecutor and promises she made to improve their sentences. The prosecution tried to influence the jury by saying Ivan was involved in a made-up murder. At trial, the prosecutor argued that Ivan should be sentenced to death because he was involved in another murder in Pennsylvania, and was highly dangerous. It was later revealed that the testimony about the murder and the prosecutor’s argument were completely made up—the murder never even happened. There is evidence that calls into question every part of the Commonwealth’s case against Ivan. There is too much doubt for Governor McAuliffe to allow this execution to go ahead. Please help make sure he knows that The Commonwealth is about to execute an innocent man. Please help save an innocent man. Join the call for Governor McAuliffe to intervene. Visit ivansprayerforjustice.org to learn more about Ivan's case. Visit Facebook and Twitter for case updates.
Petition to Donald Trump
Clemency for Chad Marks serving 40 years
Chad Marks has been imprisoned for over 14 years on non-violent drug charges. He currently faces 26 more years of his total sentence of 40 years if he does not receive clemency from President Trump. He now spends most his time in the law library helping others who need assistance and are incapable of filing a motion on their own. He also sends letters and stories about life in prison to the CAN-DO Foundation and in turn we have shared them with the press. Fusion published Chad's letter entitled: What it was like to watch Trump win the election while in prison. He was also chosen by Yale Law students who wrote an Op Ed about the clemency applicants they had identified as meeting all the criteria that the Obama administration has laid out to qualify. And Chad was quoted in Vice news - all these articles can be read on Chad's profile page: Chad is #15 on the CAN-DO Top 25 Men. According to Chad: When Judge Larimer scolded me for not being remorseful, I heard him, but did not understand him. It has taken me almost a decade to realize that there is no one to blame for my situation but myself. The reconciliation of my past with my present life and faith is an ongoing process. The mistakes that I made as a youth continue to affect me to this day. But they do not define who I am today. They do not dictate my direction. I believe such lessons and memories are not merely the miracles that get us though difficult times in our lives, but are powerful tools that reinforce our spirit here and now. If I am able to right the wrongs that I have done in my life, it is only because I have evolved and this journey afforded me that opportunity. So it is with great regret and repentance that I offer my apology to America. Accepting responsibility goes hand in hand with choosing . When we come to terms with the fact the we have done wrong and own it, we let go of those things that have damaged our souls, or the souls of others, we are set free to choose other ways of being and relating that are rooted in love and lead to life. Although my case in a nonviolent one, I regret any role I played in harming out society by engaging in illicit behavior. I never will be that person, again. I learned that you have to let go of your old self in order to put on your new self. I had to let go of the lies I was living. All journey's for good or evil begin with one small step. When we choose the path we choose the destination. When we let go of wrong things, for the right reasons we begin the first step of change. Like a weak chain something breaks inside of us and we finally say, "no more." That is when a new resolve is birthed.. We ascend above our fears and defensiveness. The hardness of our hearts crumble, becoming soft and ready to receive new growth, new possibilities. I must admit I'm like a little boy counting the days to Santa's arrival, wondering if I will get the greatest gift any human can ever imagine. Freedom. I can't sleep at night, I'm anxious and worried and hopeful. There is a time and a season for everything under heaven. I pray that my time in prison is coming to an end and that President Trump will have mercy on my soul and allow me to enter a new season where I can contribute to society in a positive way.
Petition to Robert A. Zauzmer, President of the United States, Loretta Lynch
Grant Clemency for Michael Palmer
My father, Michael Palmer, was sentenced to life in prison under mandatory minimum drug sentencing on January 7, 1989 - just ten days before I was born. He has been in prison for 25 years now - most of his life and all of mine. I believe he has paid his debt to society and should be granted clemency. On January 17th, 2014 I turned 25. My birth month is symbolic of when my father lost his freedom, and my age calculates how long he has been incarcerated. Like every other fatherless child in this world, I too have cried myself to sleep at night, and envied other kids who have a physical relationship with their father. I can honestly say that I am embarrassed of my father. I have friends and acquaintances that I have known for ten years or more who have absolutely no idea of his whereabouts or if he even exist. Please sign my petition asking President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Pardon Attorney Deborah Leff to grant my father, Michael Palmer petition for clemency. He has more than paid his debt to society. My father has been in prison for 25 years now— half of his life. It is not right that he should die in there. He would have spent more years in prison, then actually living his life. Although my father was a pen pal to me, I would still consider him a parent. He enforced the importance of education, and staying focused. He was disappointed if I acted up or misbehaved. In getting to know my dad, I felt like I could relate to him on a lot of topics. We shared the same views on life, people, school, books, religion, politics, ethics, morals and our values. I felt like he was the best friend, companion, and most of all— the father that I never had. Even from prison, he has motivated me to be where I am at today. I graduated at the top twenty five percent of my class, I was one out of the thirty peer leaders in my entire high school, I was a mentor, I represented my school at the National Young Leadership Conference in Washington D.C, I studied Spanish in Spain because of my accomplishments, I attended Temple University on a partial academic scholarship. My major was Biology Pre-Medicine and I minored in Spanish. Currently I am in medical school, soon to graduate in 2016. Thanks to my mother, I have never wanted or needed anything in life, but my FATHER—she cannot replace him. I regret not getting to know him as a child. I was young and naive. I believed that there was no hope for him. I am now a young adult with a lot of goals and dreams in life. My goal is to be a successful doctor and my dream is to have a father. My father is not the same man he was when he entered prison. He is changed. Here are his own words: “I, Michael Palmer, want to thank you, the world, for taking the time to read this petition and hope you will sign on so I can get looked at for clemency and a second chance at life, something that I will not take for granted. I just want to spend the rest of my life with my grandchildren since I missed the golden years of my children. I want to also say to anyone out there that is thinking about or is into the streets, 'Hey, there is nothing that can take the price of your freedom. Stay in school, get an education, and spend time with your family. Life is too short. Reach, teach and help one another. Prison is wack!!!'”
Petition to Virginia Governor
Conditional Pardon for John Paul Johnson
John Paul Johnson (“PJ”) was a 19-year old student of Charleston Southern University, who was sentenced to 37.5 years imprisonment for a first-time offense crime. His story is one of tragic misfortune and injustice. This petition is an ambitious attempt to reintroduce PJ into your world, in an unobtrusive way, in hope that you will lend our family a helping hand as we ask the Governor of Virginia to grant him a conditional pardon. As one Governor so poignantly said, “I took the position that I was the servant of the people, and when a community where a crime had been committed, with the best people signing the petition, said that the criminal had been punished enough, I turned him out (from prison) without regard to criticism”. This is our prayer for PJ. As PJ has expressed in his own words: “Honestly, I don’t know whether your last memory of me is good or bad, or whether the passage of time has wiped out all recollection of my existence; but I’m optimistic that your memory of my virtuous qualities far outweigh any lasting impressions left by the fallacies and mistakes that I made in my youth. Maybe some of you remember my smile and dry sense of humor; and amazing enough, even after being subjected to 14 years of prison life with all its hardships, our Creator has preserved my smile and light-hearted nature. Perhaps some of you remember my love for basketball and my infatuation with “fly” sneakers, but today my hoop dreams have long dissipated, and my sneaker fetish has been hung up in exchange. I’m satisfied with state-issued shoes, thick-framed glasses; happy and content to spend most of my day in a small library of beloved books. “In my dreams, I imagine if many of you have experienced success in your worldly pursuits and travel; perhaps some of you have found bliss and happiness in marriage; while others are proud parents of extremely bright and intelligent children. In many ways, I envy you, no question. It’s a pursuit worthy of kind envy, meaning I don’t desire to see any of your blessings and favors stripped away from you, rather I only wish that something similar be written for me. I want to be free, so that I can be a Provider, protector, companion and sincere advisors to my daughter, Arianna, age 16, and Traje’ana, age 14. I want to be free so that I can stop those troubled youth from traveling down the misguided path of ignorance and poor decision-making. Finally, I want to be free so that I can be a shining light, a pillar of strength for my family and our community.” “I came to prison over 14 years ago for a number of robberies. I’m thankful that no one was killed or injured as a result of my oppressive and ignorant actions. Looking back, I was an immature mischief-maker, but now that the gray hairs have burned their way into my scalp and began to infiltrate my beard, I abhor my former life as a criminal. I’m ashamed of the things that I have done. I want to be free so that I can strive to make the last traces of my footprints here on earth to be good and righteous, and not evil and oppressive.“ With that said, we ask each and every one of you, individually and collectively for a helping hand in seeking a second chance. Please aid PJ in this cause by subscribing your signature to the petition that will ultimately be submitted to the Governor of Virginia; or by going a step further; you may submit your personal comments or character letters to the Governor on his behalf. Thank you for your time spent reading this request for a second chance. While awaiting your response, I remain very truly yours, John Paul Johnson (“PJ”) Address your Letter to the Governor: Terrence R. McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia Patrick Henry Building 1111 East Broad Street Richmond, Virginia 23219 Please mail your letters to: c/o John Paul Johnson P.O. Box 89161, Atlanta, GA, 30312
Petition to Chris Christie, Stephen Sweeney, Paul Fishman, Vincent Prieto
Give this ex-offender a second chance, grant my pardon.
I have dedicated my adult life to helping others, so they can pursue their happiest lives possible. But now I need your help, and a pardon from Governor Christie, so that I, too, can pursue my happiness. More than two decades ago, I made serious errors in judgment. I was a gambling addict, and in order to feed my addiction, I planned to sell drugs. Thankfully, I was caught before I did any real damage to myself or anyone else. The day I got caught was one of the greatest reliefs of my life. But in the state of New Jersey, felonies stay on your record for life, and the drug felony I received back then has continued to haunt me to this day. I believe it’s time I had a second chance. Help me urge Governor Christie to sign my application for a pardon. He has been known to speak passionately about giving ex-offenders a second chance at becoming productive citizens. I am the perfect example of what an ex-offenders can accomplish. Unfortunately, with this felony on my record, my life remains limited, and I am not free to pursue my dreams. Please sign my petition. After my one year in prison, I discovered just how difficult it is to re-enter society. I was unable to get an apartment, or most jobs. Eligibility for financial aid for schooling was hard to come by because of my conviction, so I initially chose community college, where I graduated in the top 1% of my class and earned Permanent President List. Through dedication and hard work, I was accepted to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. I graduated in 2003 in the top 5% of my class, having paid my own way through school. Through determination and my business acumen, I have been able to overcome many of the economic obstacles created by my conviction. I have been a successful entrepreneur and created jobs for New Jersey's economy. However, I have not been able to overcome some major obstacles in my personal life. I met my wife abroad, and as a result of my criminal record', I am unable to accompany her back home for more than 30 days. Essentially, my conviction from 23 years ago has robbed me of my freedom to pursue happiness with my wife and her family. While few would argue that I have turned my life around, my record keeps turning the clock back on my life. The irony here is that the harder I’ve worked to better myself, the more my criminal record has hurt me. Please sign my petition asking Gov. Christie to follow through on his promise to give ex-offenders a second chance. I have paid my dues, contributed to society and helped keep others from falling through the cracks I, myself, fell down. Tell Gov. Christie to do the right thing and grant me a pardon. Video Please From Gary E. Meyer
Petition to Barack Obama, Sheila Jackson Lee, Robert A Zauzmer
Grant Clemency To My Son Edwin Walter Rubis, 480 months for marijuana is not justice.
My son, Edwin Walter Rubis, is serving a federal sentence of 40 years for a nonviolent marijuana offense. He was sentenced in Houston, Texas, where statistics have shown that harsh sentences are more often given to minorities. He has been in prison since 1998, and has served as a model inmate for all of those 18 years. It is time for him to get a second chance at life. At the age of 19, Edwin began to battle drug addiction and began to get into trouble with the law. Over the course of his drug addiction we sought him help to get his life in order but to no avail. At the age of 29, he was slapped with this offense, and we discovered that when a family can’t afford to hire a competent independent attorney, their chances at justice are very slim. Edwin was appointed a lawyer for “indigent defendants,”, and he was immediately advised to give the court information on other drug offenders he knew. Edwin truly did not have the information they were looking for, so he was quickly deemed “uncooperative” and the trial judge gave him a particularly harsh sentence -- 40 years. He has been in prison ever since. He has served 18 years for a nonviolent marijuana offense. Even if he had been fairly represented and his trial hadn’t been weighed against him,18 years is sufficient for this crime. Please sign our petition asking President Obama to grant our son clemency, Edwin Rubis, so he may have a second chance at life. Edwin has been working hard to make his time in prison productive. He has certificates of completion from the psychology and religious departments. He completed a 2-year apprenticeship to be a dental assistant in the medical department. He is active in personal spiritual studies, and is seen as a mentor by his peers for both spiritual and personal character. In fact, a pastor at a rehabilitation program in Florida has said that he has a job opening available for him upon his release. Sadly, we have exhausted all legal avenues in our search for justice for Edwin. I am pleading for him to receive a presidential clemency so that he can continue his rehabilitative work and efforts to help young men deal with situations similar to those he faced during his younger years on the streets. He wants to further his education and help others out of the justice penal system. Please sign this petition urging President Obama to grant my son, Edwin Walter Rubis, clemency. He has been rehabilitated, and he deserves a second chance. Sincerely, Maria Alicia Roque
Petition to President of the United States, Lawrence Kupers, William N. Taylor II
Please Don't Let Jason McClure Live 17 Yrs in Prison for 1st Time Non-Violent Drug Charge
Jason McClure is a kind and generous person who's made positive impacts on so many people's lives (see a few in his testimonials), but he'll be spending the next 17 years of his life in Federal Prison for a first time, non-violent drug charge instead of living these years with friends and family who love him dearly for the person he is and all the good he's done. Jason grew up in a Mormon family with high moral values. He lost his father when he was 10, leaving his mother to care for 5 children on her own, and it wasn't an easy life. Jason vowed to work hard and save money before having children of his own to afford them a comfortable life. He worked many jobs alongside family and friends to help grow their various businesses. When synthetic drugs first emerged there was huge financial potential in this untapped market. Jason and a few friends started working in distribution of synthetic drugs such as spice and, eventually, methylone which at the time were new and legal, and in huge demand. The DEA began classifying these substances to get them off the streets. Anytime a substance became criminalized, Jason and his business partners halted selling it. Except that in 2012 Jason personally filled another methylone order after its banning for a good customer who was working as an informant after getting into trouble of her own. He was apprehended in a parking lot with no weapons of any sort and used no violence during his arrest, and yet that one transaction he was about to make would cost him 17 years of his life. 17 years. A person can do a lot in 17 years. Jason will be 52 years old when he's released. He will have lost the opportunity to have the children he's always wanted. Is that teaching him a lesson? For a man that has not once, not ever hurt anyone, but has given so much of himself to others, is this justice? For a person that believes so firmly in the sanctity of marriage and family that he, rather than irresponsibly father children as so many others do, has waited until he’s ready for marriage, this is the ultimate punishment. Why is Jason being stripped of 17 years of his life while there are rapists who get to go home after 6 months and start over? Why doesn’t he get a second chance? I know it won’t take Jason 17 years to learn from his mistake. I think rather than rob him of a chance at a fulfilling future and embittering him against the judicial system, he needs to be given a chance to prove it. Jason has been an amazing friend and has helped me (and countless others) through difficult times. Please help me now during his difficult time, to give him that chance.