Petition to President Barack Obama
Executive Clemency Requested for 25 Deserving Women
The CAN-DO Foundation is proud to have shared the faces, names and stories of many women seeking justice though clemency. The "Top 25 Women" are extraordinary examples of people who received draconian sentences due to legislation passed in the the late 80s and 90s that caused minor participants in a "conspiracy" case to receive mandatory sentences of 10 years to LIFE without parole. These women are equally culpable for the actions of an entire network of co-consirators so their sentences are based on the amount of drugs that others in the conspiracy manufactured, sold, or imported. Most of these women are FIRST OFFENDERS who have served no less than 10 years and as much as 24 years.More years in prison does not serve the best interest of our society, or the tax payer. All these women have applied themselves while incarcerated and achieved extraordinary things, despite their situation, such as earning a college degree, completing drug rehab programs, working full time at "Prison Industries" or "UNICOR," and mentoring other prisoners. The CAN-DO Foundation engages in exhaustive research to identify cases that deserve relief from unjustly long prison sentences that do not fit the crime. The following Top 25 are either pending or seeking a reconsideration: 1. Alice Marie Johnson - 1st offense - served 20 yrs on LIFE 2. Michelle West - 1st offense - served 23 yrs on LIFE 3. Deneise Quintanilla - served 16 yrs on LIFE 4. Roberta Bell - 1st offense - served 22 yrs on LIFE 5. Lori Kavitz - 1st offense - served 15 yrs o 24 yr sentence 6. Lavonne Roach - 1st offense - served 19 yrs on 30 yr sent. 7. Terry Anderson - served 20 yrs on 30 yr sentence 8. Eva Palma-Atencio - 1st offense - served 13 yrs on LIFE 9. Patricia Clarke - 1st offense - served 24 yrs on LIFE 11. Rose Summers - 1st offense - served 18 yrs on 24 yr sent 12. Melissa Trigg - 1st offense - served 10 yrs on 15 yr sent. 13. Tynice Hall - 1 prior - served 10 yrs on 28 yr sentence 14. Crystal Munoz - misd. - served 10 yrs on 20 yr sent. 15. Holly Dawn Moore - 1st offense - 11 yrs on 16 yr sent. 16. Beth Rushing - 1st offense - served 15 yrs on 24 yr sent. 17. Nancy Ferneau - served 13 yrs on 25 yr sent 18. Elisa Castillo - 1st offense - served almost 9 yrs on LIFE 19. Chalana McFarland - 1st offense - served 13 on 30 yr 20. Patricia Cooney - 1st offense - 17 yrs on 36 yr sent. 21. Chalana McFarland - 1st offense - 11 yrs on 30 yr sent. 22. Lenora Logan - 17 yrs on 30 yr sent 23. Tanesha Bannister - 14 yrs on 23 yr sent. 24. Angela Wright - 10 yrs on 30 yr sentence 25. Debbie Singleton - 11 yr on 24 yr sentence More cases can be found on the CAN-DO Foundation Website including a Top 25 that reflects additional names and a different order such as Lashona Hall, a first offender who has served 8 years on a 45 year sentence, Clarissa Burgoon, and more. 22 clemency recipients who were on the top 25 women! Pauline Blake Ramona Brant Tammie Francis Teresa Griffin Cheryl Howard Angie Jenkins Sharanda Jones Charceil Kellam Josephine Ledesma Mandy Martinson Donna McDaniel Schearean Means Danielle Metz Michelle Miles Carol Richardson Barbara Scrivner Cynthia Shank Robin Shoulders Alicia Siller Stacia Smith Minnie Pearl Thomas Gracie Walker Please help reunite these women with their families! Together we CAN-DO this!
Petition to President of the United States, Barack Obama
Clemency for Patricia Cooney 50662-004
My mom, Patricia Cooney, a 1st time, nonviolent offender sentenced to 100 years, has served 17 years and after sentence reductions now has 14 years left to serve. To all those who signed and shared my petition thank you so very much.. As I stated my mom is gravely ill and is making the most of her time in spite of over whelming circumstances. After my petition went up she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, chronic anemia, hyperthyroidism. When I visited her in July for her 63rd Birthday she says prisons aren't medical facilities and they do the best they can. She spoke of her symptoms which include sleepless nights, numb hands, drastic temperature changes, constant pain, irregular balance, tooth loss and noticeable physical changes that terrify us both. PRESIDENT OBAMA on behalf of my mother and thousands of other inmates serving extreme sentences and dealing with major health issues WE NEED YOUR HELP before you close this chapter of your life. I humbly ask that you give me and thousands of others the opportunity to lessen the burden on the prison system by giving us the privilege and honor to care for those we love. President Obama, I humbly ask that you GRANT MY MOM and other ill inmates who have served more than their time CLEMENCY. Without your help my mom and many others won't make it to their release dates! FREE PATRICIA COONEY #50662-004
Petition to Barack Obama, President of the United States
Grant Clemency to Nancy E. Ferneau Serving 25 years for nonviolent Charges
Nancy Ferenau is 64-years-old and has been locked up for 13 years. She was indicted on conspiracy charges because one of the co-conspirators said Nancy “knew what was going on.” The U.S. Attorney offered her 8 years, but she went to trial and therefore received 25 years, instead.Nancy found out after she was sentenced that her public defender was a Divorce, Will and Probate lawyer and this was his first felony Federal criminal case. Nancy realizes that she made bad choices in who her friends were, but never dreamed it could cost her 25 years of her life. She just had a kidney removed due to cancer, a breast lumpectomy and radiation for cancer as well. She has also undergone over 12 surgeries on her back , neck, knees, (plus a replacement), thyroid, and other body parts. Nancy also suffers from Rhuematoid and Osteo Arthritis and has suffered a stroke. Her medical issues are numerous which will limit's the ability to work , but if granted her freedom, she is determined to be a productive member of society by serving in her community and being given the chance to spend the remainder of her life with her kids and grandchildren. I am asking you to please give Nancy a chance to live free again instead of possibly dying in prison. Her wish is to be able to spend what life she has left with her children, grandchildren, and the rest of my family. Thank you so much for your consideration. Learn more about Nancy on the CAN-DO Foundation's website.
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 Barack Obama, Robert Zauzmer
Clemency for Clarissa Burgoon
Clarissa Burgoon is my childhood best friend and is currently serving a 20 year sentence for "conspiracy to commit money laundering," because her ex-boyfriend of 10 years was selling drugs and she "benefited from the money." Her money laundering charge was only for $8,034, but the accounts where all in Clarissa's name. Her attorney advised her she would probably do two years yet she received the maximum 20 year sentence. She never sold any drugs but there where 11 people who, in exchange for reductions in their own sentences, testified that she knew drugs were being sold. This included one man she had never even met. Clarissa has served over 8 years, with clear conduct, and fully accepted responsibility for her actions. She even believes prison forced her to take a hard look at what she was doing, and who she had become. She recognizes that she is responsible for her current situation. She also knows she can only change her future, not her past. Clarissa desperately wants to reunite with her two beautiful children who lost both their parents to the justice system. From behind bars she sees her kids once every two years. Her sister is battling cancer, and her daughter has had two surgeries because of Turner syndrome. Her kids where separated and only see each other once a year. Not being there for her family and leaving her kids without parents has been the worst punishment imaginable. While in prison she has worked at UNICOR (prison work program) her entire time in prison and worked her way up to manager at the "Cut and Sew" factory. She makes $1.15 per hour and recently received a certificate of excellence for her work. She has never received a disciplinary write up for any infraction and has completed drug, parenting, and accounting classes to help prepare her for a new life. Please sign this petition asking President Obama to grant clemency to Clarissa Burgoon. She has served enough time and has a strong desire to help keep others from going down the path she went down. Her family is hopeful that President Obama will commute her sentence because if he does not, she will remain in prison until November 30, 2025. You can read more about Clarissa's case on the CAN-DO website
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 Indiana Governor, Mike Pence
Pardon an innocent man
Vice presidential candidate and Indiana Governor Mike Pence has the ability to give an innocent man his life back. In 1997, Keith Cooper was wrongly accused and convicted of a crime he did not commit. He was sentenced to 40 years for a horrible robbery, but it later became apparent a miscarriage of justice had occurred. A jailhouse informant against Cooper recanted his testimony and a DNA test on a hat recovered at the scene of the crime matched a different man serving time for a 2002 murder. Even the robbery victims, pushed by an investigator to identify Cooper, have said that they misidentified him. In 2006, as the case against Cooper began to fall apart, he was offered a deal to get out of prison. He could be retried, waiting for his trial while still in prison, or he could be released with time served, though with his conviction still on his record. Having heard that his family was living in a homeless shelter, Cooper took the deal. He has been released from prison. Because Cooper hasn’t received a pardon, he is still listed as a convicted felon. An innocent man still has to suffer the loss of many rights because he has not been pardoned. Keith Cooper struggles to find good work to support his family, and cannot get the compensation he deserves for the wrongful conviction. Both the Indiana Parole Board and the prosecutor of the case against him have recommended a full pardon for Keith Cooper. A full pardon is the only way to right this wrong. Indiana Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence has had a request for Cooper's pardon since March 2014. Please tell him to grant the pardon now.
Petition to President of the United States, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner
Clemency for Jermaine Brown serving 28 years
Jermaine Brown is my husband and he is currently housed in a prison by the name of Dixon Correctional Center located in Dixon Illinois. He is serving a sentence of 25 years at 100% for a wrongful conviction of 1st degree murder. The actual nature of the case should have been self-defensedue to the nature of the situation. As of today he has been in prison for 14 years and continues to fight constantly for his freedom, even after being unsuccessful in the appeal process. Due to the support of family he remains strong minded, and grounded with love. He is not only just trying to get home to his family but his 14 year old daughter who is in the same situation he once was and that is growing up without both her parents seeing as how her mother has died, and then her grandmother passed as well. His biggest objection is to come home and be a father, a husband, and an advocate for "At Risk Youth". This is what he wrote me to put in his petition. : Please join in this effort and ask Our President to show me grace and mercy by commuting my sentence. I'm ready to prove to my family, myself and society that I deserve this opportunity. Since being in prison I have had time to reflect and am aware of the many problems that many of us in urban communities face like the one I myself was raised in which had a negative influence on me as a child. I grew up with a mentally ill mother and never knew my father. Not to mention being surrounded by gangs, drugs, violence, etc that awaited outside my grandmother's front door. It eventually got the best of me and I became an at risk youth and stayed that way for years which in 2002 took me away from the life I once knew. Since incarceration I have dug deep into studying self because only we hold the answers to who we are. This knowledge came from books, the type you have to look hard for. The truth is not always easy to obtain and when found the owners aren't usually willing to share them. Not because they don't want to share but because all minds can't handle or aren't mature enough to understand the contents. I was blessed enough to have come to prison with an outlook to get as much from this journey as I could, and I've stuck to that outlook. I am now blessed to say that I truly know who I am, where I've come from, why I've done this and that, and most importantly where I am headed. Prison can change a person if one is open to it and stare change in the eyes. I am not the 19 year old young man I was in 2002. However, I am aware that it isn't about talking, it's more about action and action is what I am now in the process of unfolding to the free world when I'm finally released. For years I have relied on ill equipped systems to fight for my freedom; over worked court appointed attorneys, fake jail-house lawyers, and out of date prison law books. All tools systematically designed to prevent people like me from obtaining freedom. Recently I realized that my fight for freedom shouldn't be fought from only the inside but the outside as well, which is precisely why I am reaching out to you through Change.org I am preparing what is called an Executive Clemency to the current Illinois Governor requesting a commutation of my sentence (an early release). However, such a task is not achievable without outside assistance. Therefore, I am asking for your signatures to be added to my petition. This petition with your signatures will be added to the filing of my clemency once completed, and will increase my chances of success that will ultimately result of returning home to my family as a new man with increased knowledge of the meaning of life and what life isn't about. My plans once free are endless but all are positive. One plan is more dear to me then others and that is to work with urban youth to introduce them to are, poetry, and music as tools for self-expression I'm aware (from self experience) that so many children go about life holding their true feelings in leaving them with no positive outlets of self-expression which often leads to negative, harmful, and violent behavior and results in over-crowded prisons, early pregnancies, S.T.D's, drugs, and separation of families. The fact remains that the youth that grow up in poverty and crime ridden communities are all "at risk youth". There was a time when the term "at risk youth" meant children with parent(s) in prison, on drugs, or absent, but now the term is defined more vastly. Bullets kill our youth, drugs kill our youth, the lack of education kill our youth, disease kill our youth and the list goes on. The fact remains is that our youth are at risk. Teaching them to express themselves gives them not only an outlet but a voice as well. A voice that matters and gives them a platform to deliver their message. Had I been in tune with a positive outlet over seen by those that cared if I made it or not I believe I would not be in prison. Things happen for a reason and I'm okay with that, my journey continues to take unexpected turns but now I realize that I have more control then I thought. With my fight for freedom now on the outside battlefield and with your signatures of support I have high hopes that some time sooner than later I will be spreading my wings when I'm free from this small cage from which I write. Thank you for taking the time to read this in it's entirety.