136 petitions

Update posted 2 hours ago

Petition to Governor Terry McAuliffe, Governor Ralph Northam

Decriminalize Autism and Save Drew

Our son, Drew Harrison, has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is currently serving three active years of a 50-year prison sentence. Drew’s Autism was not taken into consideration at trial or sentencing. We are petitioning Governor McAuliffe to grant Drew a pardon. Drew reconnected with a woman he had dated in high school. The evening before inviting him to her apartment she shared her interest in BDSM, submissive sex. She told Drew that her boyfriend was too tired after work to please her sexually. Upon arrival she laid a blanket on the floor, she allowed him to massage her shoulders and feet, she showed him her semi-nude, erotic photos of herself and engaged in sexualized talk. In the bedroom he easily removed her shirt and pants. Drew gave the woman oral sex and put a finger in her vagina. When she told him to stop he stopped. The two of them texted and emailed back and forth hundreds of times post event. They even got together a few times. On one occasion they went to a bookstore where she pointed out an erotic BDSM book for Drew to buy. Six months after the evening in her apartment she reported to the police that the contact in her bedroom was nonconsensual. Those with ASD typically have a strike or two against them when entering a courtroom. The pace of questioning often exceeds their ability to process everything that is heard. Their high anxiety and repetitive statements can be mistaken as indicators of deception or guilt. Without an understanding of their unique way of processing information and their difficulty expressing anger appropriately a court can easily question credibility and reach a faulty conclusion.  Drew’s therapist testified that Drew has a strong desire to please, that he has learned to fake well in order to fit in. The judge interpreted this as our son’s ability to be deceitful and he used it as part of the reason for convicting Drew. He never asked the autism experts in the courtroom for clarification regarding Drew’s social and communication deficits.  In a letter presented to the judge Drew’s probation officer noted that Drew complied with all probation conditions for over two years. She stated that if this were a regular case without the appeal process she would request early release from probation. She added that Drew passed the state-issued polygraph without deception. Results were consistent with the not guilty plea Drew has maintained from the beginning.      The judge stated that he didn’t view Drew as a threat to the community or the woman. He emphasized that he was sending Drew to prison as a general deterrence to others because that is what the community would want him to do. Drew’s therapists are convinced that Drew is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. They warned the court that incarceration would be torture for our son. In prison Drew suffered a break down after abrupt medication changes and being moved from isolation into general population. To deaden his senses from loud clanging doors, the bright buzzing lights and the chatter of inmates Drew often wears ear plugs and wraps a shirt around his head. He struggles to navigate the unwritten rules of inmates. Drew lives in fear and overwhelm. He begs us, “Please get me out of here”. Prison visits are bittersweet. We are grateful to spend time with our son, but heartbroken as we see him deteriorate. We are asking Governor McAuliffe to grant Drew a pardon. We ask for your support by signing this petition. My blog gives additional details and excerpts from transcripts. It shows the considerable reasonable doubt and injustice.  Thank you, Judy and John Harrison       

Judy Harrison
3,666 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Jeff sessions

President Trump: Meet with Clemency Recipients.

Before leaving office, President Obama sat down for lunch with six people who were released from prison after being granted clemency by U.S. presidents. Three people with sentences commuted by Obama were joined by two who were freed by President George W. Bush and two by President Bill Clinton.    He ate a meal with these people, some of whom had recently spent over two decades in prison, and listened to their stories. Yes, they had made mistakes but as nonviolent drug offenders, the sentences they received were unfair. These people have gone on to rebuild their families, get jobs and become taxpayers, and are giving back to their communities. Unfortunately, President Trump disagreed with President Obama's use of clemency for nonviolent drug offenders and one year after his inauguration there is no indication that he will use his presidential pardoning power to help people.  However, Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser recently convened a "listening session" for Trump about criminal justice reform. That's a great sign that Trump understands the importance of this issue, but this meeting did not include anyone who received clemency.   President Trump could learn so much from clemency recipients if he takes just a few moments to listen to their stories and understand why clemency from the president is so important. These are hardworking people, and often people of faith, who have overcome incredible obstacles and are now doing great things with their freedom — exactly the kind of success stories President Trump often talks about.     Please sign this petition asking President Trump or other members of his administration to meet with clemency recipients. 

Nation of Second Chances
25,941 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Jerry Brown

Help Steven Green Earn a Second Chance At Coming Home

My name is Steven Green and I have served 26 years of a Life Without the Possibility of Parole sentence for murder and robbery. A few months into being 18, a life was taken, which I am deeply remorseful for and I take full responsibility for my actions. This is something I will live with for the rest of my life. Over the last 26 years I have matured and made many improvements in my life to become a better person before CDC offered rehabilitation. During this transition, I gave up the gang lifestyle/mentality and made education a top priority. I have completed 5 A.A. degrees with Honors as well as an A.S. degree. Furthermore, I am currently earning a BSBA degree through Adams State University. In addition to my educational achievements, I have been involved in many self-help programs. I've received my Victim Advocacy Certificate from ASU and I created an ILTAG group that donated over $35,000 to local schools. On top of my previous accomplishments I am currently the Executive Consultant to The Explorer, a prison based newsletter. I also facilitate and attend multiple groups such as Alternatives to Violence, Criminal Gang Members Anonymous, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Healing Dialogue and Action, The Actor’s Gang, Lifers Group, etc. Since becoming incarcerated I have maintained family support and become a man of God. I am a husband and father that plays an active role in my daughters’ lives. My wife and I both encourage them to excel in school and maintain good grades. I need to be in their lives as much as they need me in theirs. As their father, I want to cheer them on at their sports games, attend school functions, watch them graduate high school, and be a positive male role model for them. Please allow me to show that I am no longer the 18 year old gang member I used to be but instead a 44 year old man who has gained insight, remorse, and responsibility. I have a family to come home to, employment waiting, and the support of my family and friends. If given the opportunity, I believe the Governor and the Parole Board will see how I’ve turned my life around to become the man I am today. I am Steven Green, a husband and father that needs to make my family whole and be active and engaged in my family's everyday life. Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story and showing your support!

Sutina Green
2,815 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to CNN, Donald Trump, Bill Cassidy, U.S. Senate, Clay Higgins, U.S. House of Representatives, Cedric Richmond, Anderson Cooper, Department of Homeland Security

Reunite A Couple Separated By Broken Immigration System

I. The Story Our nation's oppressive immigration system currently separates my lover, and I. Ivan came to the U.S. legally as a child with his family and grew up here in Louisiana. Our relationship dates back to when we were in high school. In 2012, Ivan, 17 at the time, departed back to Mexico to go to college for engineering. After a few years, he tried to return to the U.S. legally on many occasions; however, he was denied a visa every time. After exhausting his legal options, Ivan decided to cross the border. Consequently, he was caught, deported, and barred for five years. So he and I decided to make the best of the situation. After talking to lawyers, I learned the deportation secretly triggered another, far worse penalty called, The Permanent Bar. The bar states that he cannot legally return for ten years with no option for a waiver because he is being punished for unlawful presence he accrued as a minor after his prior visa expired. His childhood upbringing in the U.S. was out of his control, and he should not be banished ten years for it after committing one misdemeanor offense.The law does state no period in which an alien is under 18 years of age shall be taken into account for unlawful presence; however, the U.S does it anyway to apply this particular bar. The lawyers have stated not even marriage (the best option) would ensure an immediate return with The Permanent Bar involved. It is unjust, unorthodox, and inhumane. II. What We Hope to Gain: One thing we hope to gain from this petition is sensible, humane immigration reform from Congress to eliminate and rethink these draconian immigration bars.  Americans should not have to be forced into exile or have to endure separation from their parents, children, spouses, and friends for so many years to decades. Such a punishment would be fitting for a violent offender or drug trafficker, but not for immigrants of good moral character. Congress should provide unconditional amnesty to deported immigrants for humanitarian purposes so that millions of Americans are not grieving over the absence of their loved ones for a decade. III. The Stakes We are just 22 years old. If nothing is done to help, we will be at least 32 years old by the time he can legally return. I love Ivan unconditionally. He has many friends and family here in Louisiana that miss him. He deserves to be a U.S. citizen, and we deserve to be together in the nation we both know as our home where we can live happily, build a future, get married, and carry out our long-term goals together. Life is too short and untimely to be torn apart from loved ones.That is why I urge our elected officials to fix the draconian one size fits all immigration laws, so he and others can return to be with loved ones. Signing and sharing this petition would be greatly appreciated as it may eventually change our lives.  #LetIvanComeHome #LoveAlwaysWins

Tre'Shaun Nuñez
5,821 supporters