275 petitions

Started 1 day ago

Petition to Governor of Virginia, Virginia Governor

Clemency for Travis E. Williams. A miscarriage of justice and unfair sentencing. Re: Travis E. Williams v. Commonwealth of Virginia. Circuit Court No. CR04-558 through CR04-563. The facts of this case are simple. A crime was committed, some property was damaged, some money was taken, no one was hurt, there were trial errors that deprived Williams of a fair trial, the person who committed the crime was found guilty and punished for his actions. The questions here are: (1) Is a 38 year prison sentence to harsh?, and (2) do the trial errors and the circumstances of the case warrant clemency? On January 20, 2004 Travis Eugene Williams was arrested for the robbery of a Hardee's in Petersburg, Virginia. He was later coerced to confess to the robbery and then charged with multiple felonies. The detective presiding over the interrogation of Williams recorded over the footage confirming the alleged coercion and Williams was scheduled for trial on September 13, 2004. Prior to Williams' trial he was offered a plea agreement that was originally for 15 years but was changed to 12 years, yet Williams declined the plea agreement. On September 13, 2004 Williams' trial ended in mistrial and a new trial was set for November 16, 2004. On November 16, 2004 Williams and his court appointed defense attorney raised the defense of coercion and requested that the video tape confession be kept out of the trial proceedings unless it could be shown with the footage confirming the alleged coercion. The court ruled to leave the video tape confession out of the trial proceedings due to its missing parts. Later during Williams' trial the Commonwealth's attorney still played the video tape confession for the jury with no objections from the judge nor Williams' court appointed attorney. Prior to the introduction of the jury instructions, the defense attorney motioned to strike the Commonwealth's case and the court overruled. During the preparation of the jury instructions the Commonwealth's attorney was allowed to include a list of what was supposed to be a true list of Williams' prior convictions to show proof of moral turpitude effecting Williams' credibility as a witness. The jury instructions along with the list of prior convictions was given to the jury for deliberation and the jury returned with a verdict of guilty on all charges. Williams was later sentenced to 38 years in the Virginia penitentiary. Williams was denied relief in the appeal courts and exhausted his pursuit of relief with the courts in this case. Williams later discovered that the list of prior convictions that the Commonwealth's attorney introduced as evidence with the jury instructions at Williams' trial included several fraudulent felony and misdemeanor convictions. The fact that the jury was allowed to use the weight of the false convictions included in the Commonwealth's list of prior convictions to reach their verdict of guilty on all charges deprived Williams of a fair trial because one of the false convictions included in the list of convictions was robbery and this alone had the potential to negatively influence the jury to believe that Williams was a career criminal. Travis Eugene Williams was only 19 years old at the time of the robbery. Considering the fact that he grew up in an economically challenged household as an undereducated and emotionally disturbed child in an environment that was tainted with poverty and crime, how could you not expect him to make a few bad decisions in efforts to survive? Think of the many mistakes and bad decisions you and countless others have made at that age. Travis Williams is now in his early 30's and has been incarcerated over 13 years. During his incarceration he has matured and greatly bettered himself. He is predominantly self-educated with an unwavering passion for business/entrepreneurship and helping others. He has written and self-published several books that are currently available on Amazon. On March 18th, 2015 Williams founded the "Inmates for Entrepreneurial Progress" movement and later released the self-titled Inmates for Entrepreneurial Progress book. Inmates for Entrepreneurial Progress (IEP) is a developing movement of incarcerated individuals within the United States who are proactively taking their rehabilitation and entrepreneurial aspirations into their own hands in pursuit positive change and progress while incarcerated. IEP's mission is to show and maintain positive change through productive incarceration by means of self-rehabilitation, pursuing higher education, legally executing entrepreneurial/business plans via agents/fiduciaries on the outside, working to build and or become a part of supportive networks in efforts to continue in personal as well as financial growth, and working hard to be able to provide for their families despite being incarcerated. The Inmates for Entrepreneurial Progress book series stands as the fundamental learning tool for IEP-minded individuals incarcerated in the United States. IEP further seeks to contribute to our nation's economic growth, development, and stability by connecting with IEP-friendly companies, independent contractors, and other, to introduce new ideas for solutions, services, and products in efforts to create and otherwise take advantage of promising and or beneficial business opportunities, make tax contributions on all taxable income, and to promote and otherwise grow in national anti-recidivism and prison reform. IEP, as a whole, intends to progressively create job and freelance opportunities for not only United States citizens, but for individuals abroad. Williams admits that he has made bad decisions and gotten into trouble since he's been incarcerated. However, please understand that a few bad decisions and getting into trouble from time to time is expected when you are forced to live in a concentrated and enclosed environment with some of the most violent and of criminally inclined individuals in the state of Virginia. Williams quotes:"I accept full responsibility for the crime I committed and I am fighting for a chance to right my wrongs by first seeking forgiveness, and seeking early release so that I can work to repair the damage that I caused in my community. My plans are to (1) secure employment while simultaneously functioning as a small business owner/entrepreneur, (2) pay off all my court fines and restitution fees, (3) give back to my community via participation in community service...among other things, and (4) continue living my life as a productive citizen and positive role model in my community and abroad while trying to start and raise a healthy family. Being in prison has provided me with the time and experience that I needed to mature, grow, and turn my life around. I want to be free, with my family and loved ones, functioning as a productive citizen, and letting my light shine for all to see that I truly deserved a second chance. God knows I am ready for a second chance, but I still have leftover time to serve. At this point, keeping me in prison is overkill. The harsh realities of my confinement are eating away at my soul and I'm suffering beyond what my words can express." Williams further admits that at the time of this robbery he had absolutely no intentions to hurt anyone (and no one was hurt). He only intended to take some money to help his family. The charges that Williams was convicted of are deemed as violent crimes with mandatory sentencing. This resulted in Williams' 38 year prison sentence. Given the circumstances, 38 years in prison is outright unfair, especially when there are people throughout Virginia getting sentenced to 15 years or less in prison for murder and other server crimes. In this case the punishment does not fit the crime. The only available remedy for relief at this point is clemency by the Governor of Virginia. Through clemency Travis Williams can receive a sentence commute that can relieve him of the remainder of his prison sentence. Williams has served over 13 years incarcerated. Isn't that punishment enough? At this point, to allow Williams to stay in prison is, as Williams called it, overkill. WHEREFORE, in consideration of the facts and circumstances of this case, I respectfully request that the Governor of Virginia be merciful and grant Travis Eugene Williams clemency in the form of a sentence commute to relieve him of the remainder of his prison sentence.

Travis Williams
188 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Terry McAuliffe

Governor Terry McAuliffe: Don’t Execute William Morva on July 6

William Morva was sentenced to death by jurors who were unaware that his crimes were driven by persecutory delusions that were beyond his control. William suffers from delusional disorder, a serious mental illness with psychotic features. Because of his delusions, William earnestly and fervently believes in a reality that is simply not true. At times, his delusions caused him to believe that he was called by a supernatural power to save the world, or save specific indigenous tribes. These delusions also caused him to believe that while awaiting trial in a previous case, he was being wrongly incarcerated in conditions so deplorable that they were life-threatening and that someone wanted him dead. Driven by these delusions, he escaped custody and killed two men. Delusional disorder does not prevent people like William from functioning in many areas of life. But in the aspects of William’s life tied to his delusions, he is incapable of thinking and acting rationally. William was in a local jail awaiting trial on attempted robbery charges. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of an injury. William escaped custody at the hospital, fatally shooting Derrick McFarland, a hospital security guard. The next day he fatally shot Eric Sutphin, a corporal with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. He was apprehended a few hours later. Jurors never heard about William’s illness or the impact it had on his escape from custody. Jurors never heard about William’s delusions and how those delusions caused William to believe he was going to die in jail. Jurors were incorrectly told that although William had “odd beliefs,” he did not have delusions. Odd beliefs are something William could have changed. But delusions were beyond his control. After trial, William was appointed new lawyers who uncovered evidence of his delusions. With this new evidence, experts have determined that William has suffered for years from delusional disorder. Despite recommendations from an evaluating psychiatrist, William has never received treatment for his disorder while on Death Row.  Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will be considering William’s request for clemency—a commutation of his death sentence to life in prison without possibility of parole. For technical reasons, courts have not been able to consider whether William is mentally ill and whether his crimes were driven by his delusions. Ask Governor McAuliffe to take into account William’s illness and the impact it had on these crimes. Ask him to show mercy and commute William’s death sentence to life in prison. Visit to learn more about William’s case. Like and follow Mercy For Morva on Facebook and follow @MercyForMorva on Twitter and Instagram for case updates.  

Mercy for Morva
2,254 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Jeff sessions

President Trump: Meet with Clemency Recipients.

In March of 2016, President Obama did something incredible. He 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. Unfortunately, President Trump disagreed with President Obama's use of clemency for nonviolent drug offenders and there's no indication that he will use his presidential pardoning power to help people.  But what if Trump and other members of his administration like Vice President Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions took the time to meet with these people?  These are incredible people -- many are now helping their communities and at-risk youth. President Trump could learn so much from them if he takes just a few moments to listen to their stories and understand why executive clemency from the president is so important. The Trump Administration should take the time to meet with these clemency recipients, hear their stories, and learn from them before making decisions on criminal justice policy. Please sign this petition asking President Trump or other members of his administration to meet with clemency recipients. 

Nation of Second Chances
7,318 supporters
Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Rick Scott, President of the United States

Commutation/Release/Sentence Modification Support For 62 yr old Jack Allen!

                           “Why should I sign this petition?” There are numerous petitions that have some excellent reasons to warrant attention. Some are sensationalized, and garner huge Public Outcries, and National attention. Is this one of those? No. This is a petition that centers on a case of a Denial of Due Process and Equal Protection under the Law. Shouldn't these types of Denial of Due Process be worthy of attention as well? After reading the following facts, if you believe Due Process occurred in this case, do not sign this petition! If however, you see that Due Process DID NOT OCCUR, please sign the petition now and help us right these wrongs. Jack is 62 yrs old and has spent the past 19 years in prison. Our daughter’s entire relationship with her father has been with her on the outside and him on the inside. We cannot stand by and watch him spend the rest of his life in prison & possibly die in prison. 1) Jack was arrested on May 15, 1997 for an original charge of Burglary/Battery. This charge was dropped and Jack was UN-arrested for the Burglary/Battery charges and arrested on a Possession of Marijuana charge for having a roach in the ash tray of the car. Pursuant to Florida Law, the State has 175 days to begin prosecution of non-capital felonies, upon expiration of this time period; the State has a recapture period of 10 days (Fla.R.Crim.P.3.190 Speedy Trial Rule); 2) A capias warrant for Jack’s re-arrest was requested after this time period had expired, nullifying the State’s ability to prosecute, as noted by the Public Defender at the conflict of interest hearing. However, contrary to Florida’s Law, and in Violation of Jack’s Due Process Rights, the case was prosecuted past the expiration of the Speedy Trial Rule; 3) The capias warrant was not served until over 14 months after the initial arrest, and somehow, the case number had been changed to a 1998 case number; the warrant was for the same case in which the case number should have reflected the original arrest date; 5/15/1997. 4) The State moved for the use of “Williams Rule Evidence”, which is collateral evidence, and is not to become a feature of the Trial, due to its adherent Prejudice. ( Collateral Evidence is supportive not primary evidence). At the Evidentiary Hearing the Prosecutor admits, contrary to Florida Statues, that the Williams Rule WAS the primary evidence used to obtain Jack’s conviction; 5) During Trial Jack was hand-cuffed, chained and shackled, and was presented to the jurors by defense counsel this way on two occasions. It is a violation of the right to a fair trial to appear before the jury bound in physical restraints as well as impair the presumption of innocence; 6) During the trial, it was revealed by the lead detective in the case, that 14 latent prints they found, none of them matched Jack’s! The same detective testified that Jack was the ONLY suspect because “They felt they had the right man”. Before the Trial began, I personally researched and provided his Attorney with a list of possible burglary suspects in the area through the County’s website and found over (80) who lived in that County and (4) living within a few miles of the homeowner, some of whom were very close to the description the victim originally described, yet they never attempted to match fingerprints with anyone else, not even the victims. The Attorney never introduced a fingerprint expert who could have testified on Jack’s behalf. The Attorney’s failure to introduce this exculpatory list of burglary suspects and not calling a fingerprint expert, which would have cast doubt on the States case as to Jack being the “Only suspect", denied Jack his right to a fair Trial and there exists reasonable probability that the outcome would have been different; 7) Jack WAS NEVER identified by the homeowner as the perpetrator, yet the perpetrator was mere feet away during the crime, nor could the homeowner in this case positively ID Jack while face to face in Trial court. Jack was asked to stand up to show his build; the homeowner still could not identify Jack as the perpetrator. The homeowner’s  description changed 3 times, at the crime scene, during her deposition and during her Trial testimony; 8) DNA evidence, consisting of hair samples, taken twice, results showed it DID NOT MATCH  Jack’s. However, the DNA evidence was never submitted to the court during the trial. This evidence that could have exonerated him was left out! Prior to Trial, we have made several attempts to obtain the results of the DNA test and were told there was an unexplained delay; we were never given the results, until after the Trial! 9) At sentencing the State was allowed to use a Predicate Felony that did not qualify, to enhance Jack’s sentence to Life in Prison.  Prior to October 1998, this could not be used to habitualize an Offender; he was originally arrested on 05/15/1997. At the time of sentencing, a life sentence in Florida requires more than 360 points, Jack had 102 points, 74 of which were from this charge, but was still sentenced to a term of Life in prison. 10) Jack’s Trial Attorney, was the Trial court Judges Best-Man at the Judges wedding, the Prosecuting Attorney and Jack’s court appointed Counsel for his Evidentiary Hearing, were ushers at the Judges wedding. Jack’s Evidentiary Counsel was the Best-Man at the Prosecuting Attorney’s wedding, while the Trial Judge and Jack’s Trial Counsel were ushers at the Prosecuting Attorney’s wedding. 11) During Jack’s Evidentiary Hearing, Trial Counsel urged Jack’s Evidentiary Hearing Counsel to aggressively argue the Speedy Trial Violation, but he refused to do so. These are just some of the advert or inadvertent errors, deficiencies or mistakes in Jack’s case. After 19 yrs of fighting, all we want is for Jack to be  released , so he can spend the rest of his elder years with his family. If you can see how Jack’s Due Process Rights and Equal Protection were violated, PLEASE sign this petition. Over the years we have been misled, deceived and flat out lied to and have had our hopes and dreams crushed time and again. Jack has been incarcerated for over 19 yrs and has striven to be a model inmate and has been a mentor to other men. He teaches fellowship and is known to be active in helping others improve themselves. Through his years of incarceration, he has attended courses designed to help in rehabilitation. He has sought out any vocational, educational, technical or spiritual classes that were available to him, and continues to do so. Listed Below are some of what he has accomplished while he was incarcerated. He earned his Associates Degree in Religious/Biblical Studies (3.9 GPA) and is actively ahead of schedule on working toward his Bachelors Degree. He was the Writer, Editorial Columnist & Editor for the Graceville Prison Gazette (3 yrs). Certified Data Entry Operator Certified Carpenter Certified P.C Support Technician Certified Digital Designer Completed 12 steps of Jesus drug tier program Inside Speaker NA/AA Completed thinking for a chance Completed Life Skills Course Completed Texas Christian University Faith Based Program Completed Criminon Course as a stellar student Completed Cognitive Skills class and was a student teacher Completed Two Extensive Bible Courses(received Certificate & Bibles)  Completed his Associates Degree in Religious/Biblical Studies (3.9 GPA) and is actively ahead of schedule on working toward his Bachelors Degree. Attended Kairos as a candidate and served as a cha-cha Secretary Veterans Group V.P Veterans Group Coach Veterans Group Softball Team Captain  Honor Guard Veterans Group Originator & 1st Editor “Forward Observer” Veterans Newspaper Elected Elder 4 Times for Graceville Messianic Fellowship (8yrs) Head of the House/Senior Elder at GCF Guest Writer “Continuum Of Care” (GCF) Newspaper Published Poet  ( 3rd Special Edition December 2016) Artesano Magazine One-on-One Minister/Counselor to troubled Inmates for the past 20 years. Jack has never claimed he was pure as driven snow and admits he has made bad choices in the past.  Not a day goes by that he isn’t wholeheartedly repentant, especially for those he affected. The man he is today is not the same man that made bad choices in the past. Jack’s goal upon release, is to prove to be a productive member of society by continuing to help and serve others by applying his Preacher/Teacher License, motivational skills, teaching experience & knowledge to serve the community. Since his incarceration he has lost several family members including three brothers, one sister and his mom. He suffers from a few physical ailments, some of which cannot be corrected while in prison, due to his age and sentence, so he deals with severe pain on a daily basis. A few years ago he was also diagnosed with skin cancer which was resolved but this type of skin cancer can come back at any given time. Our daughter Kristin was diagnosed at age 10 with Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes and at 16 yrs old she was then diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. When Jack was sentenced to Life in Prison, we as a family were sentenced as well. It has been very difficult for our daughter and I not having Jack in our lives and continues to be, as long as he is behind prison walls. Jack doesn’t belong behind bars. He does not harbor anger, resentment or bitterness; he just wants to come home to his family.  Please don't let this Life Sentence dictate his fate. At the age of 62( an elder) and after spending 19 years in prison, please join our petition, by signing and sharing it with friends. Thank you in advance for your support in helping us bring Jack home where he belongs! Our hope & dream is that he be released so we can spend quality time together as a family. We love and miss him dearly and desperately need him home! Please grant Commutation/Clemency/modification of Sentence/Release. It's time Jack gets the freedom he deserves. Please give a family a chance to be one beyond prison walls! Sincerely & God Bless, Karen Michalak & Kristin Allen        

Karen Michalak
507 supporters