Topic

Clemency

255 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump

30 Years is TOO Long ~ Free Bill Underwood

It's been almost 30 years since William (Bill) Underwood was sentenced to LIFE in prison without the possibility of parole, his first and only felony, under mandatory minimum sentencing as a drug offender. An aging 65-year old model prisoner, father and grandfather, his children and grandchildren are advocating for his FREEDOM. SIGN this PETITION to support their efforts.  WATCH: #FREEBILLUNDERWOOD By Ebony Underwood ~ Daughter of William Underwood: My Dad's name is William Underwood. He is a devoted father of four, grandfather of three and a former music industry executive who promoted, managed and jumpstarted the careers of top R&B and pop stars of the 80s and 90s. But he wasn't perfect and made mistakes by selling drugs before his music career. What originally was a way out of poverty when he was a teenager, and for so many others, eventually became a one-way ticket to prison. Prosecutors, hoping to get a lengthy sentence during the 1980's War on Drugs era, pegged him as the leader of a drug conspiracy and Dad was held fully responsible at sentencing. Prior to his arrest, he had never been convicted of a felony. Although he once was a part of the negativities of drug street life culture, Dad had moved beyond that lifestyle and positioned himself legitimately in the music industry as a highly regarded manager, publisher and advisor who was in constant demand by recording artists, record labels, and Hollywood actors requesting his expertise. Indeed, his involvement in criminal activity had ended years before his arrest, as evidenced by the fact that the FBI closed an investigation of him in 1986 “due to lack of activity’. However, 2 years later, in 1988, he was arrested and charged with a continuing leadership role in a narcotics conspiracy, despite being engaged in a full-time career in the music industry. Sentenced in 1990, as part of the first round of drug convictions made under the newly enacted federal Sentencing Guidelines of 1987 and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, my Dad received (3) mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years on drug conspiracy charges, plus a 4th charge -- a life sentence without the possibility of parole. These four charges comprise my father's first and only felony conviction. The life without parole sentence was the result of a decision, not made by his jury at trial, but rather by his judge binded by the mandatory Sentencing Guidelines, at his sentencing hearing. As of 2008, my Dad has already completed serving the concurrent 20-year sentences on Counts 1, 2 & 3. He now seeks commutation of the life without parole sentence of Count 4, a totally non-violent offense. Despite being incarcerated for 3 decades, my Dad has never received any infractions while in prison and has a pristine institutional record. He has no substance abuse issues and is long and far removed from the negative influences that plagued his younger years. Any ties he may have once had to any type of criminal activity is buried in the distant past. Now, instead of influencing promising young artists in the music industry, he mentors imprisoned young men about making better choices in their lives. Fatherhood is at the center of his existence, as Dad's love for his children has never faltered throughout the 30 years of his incarceration. He calls my siblings and I almost everyday, consistently sends birthday and holiday cards and now emails, but more importantly he has developed an incredibly loving relationship with his grandchildren despite never once meeting them outside of prison walls.  #HopeForFathersDay  At 65-years old my Dad is an changed man, who has accepted responsibility for actions that led to his incarceration. He deeply regrets the negative impact the behavior in his prior life has had and yearns for the opportunity to reunite with his children and family. He poses absolutely no threat to society and he has the family and community support systems necessary to make his transition from imprisonment to outside society smooth. However, a sentence of life without the possibility of parole has meant that -- no matter how long my Father lives, no matter how much my Father's life has changed, no matter what steps my Father has taken to better himself, no matter how much his family yearns for his return, no matter how many laws have changed -- he can never, ever, leave prison alive. Today, the laws that were used against him have all been overturned but, unfortunately, because the laws have not been made retroactive, he remains trapped behind prison walls. A life without parole sentence, devoid of hope and compassion, is inhumane and akin to a living death. Thirty years away from his family has been punishment enough. My siblings and I hope Dad's release will be through a Presidential Commutation of his life sentence.  For more info, go to: FREEBILLUNDERWOOD

Ebony Underwood
101,623 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Joseph R. Biden, Joseph R. Biden

22 Years are Far TOO LONG for Operating a Medical Marijuana Dispensary ! FREE MY DAD!!!

22 Years in Prison are Far TOO LONG for Operating a State-Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensary!!!  Over 13 years ago my Dad left me and went to prison for operating a state-legal medical marijuana dispensary in California. He was given a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years plus an additional 1 year 8 months. Today, marijuana is fully legal in 15 states and D.C. and medical marijuana is legal in 36 states  --  yet my Dad remains in prison!!  I am Jasmine Scarmazzo and I’m 18 years old. I’m writing this petition because I want my Dad to come home from prison and I am asking our compassionate President to grant him sentence commutation. That’s the only way he will be released without serving over twenty years.  In California, medical marijuana has been legal since 1996 and there are thousands of medical marijuana dispensaries here. But over the years, many of them were raided and shut down by the federal government. My Dad was an owner of one of these STATE-LEGAL dispensaries but since his conviction, the Department of Justice and Congress have made changes in law and policy that means my Dad would not be arrested if he was operating a medical cannabis dispensary today.  My Dad is serving the longest federal prison sentence given to a medical marijuana dispensary operator and the only Medical Marijuana Dispensary Operator who has been convicted of conducting a Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) - a law designed to prosecute Drug Kingpins! Following trial, two jury members recanted their guilty verdicts and gave sworn affidavits to that effect when learning the CCE conviction carried a 20 year Mandatory Minimum Sentence.  Today, 36 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws in place. In December 2015, Congress passed legislation that protects dispensary operators against arrest. Also, beginning in 2013, the Department of Justice stopped prosecuting medical—or even recreational—marijuana providers who are operating under state laws. Things have changed dramatically in the medical and recreational marijuana industries!!   And President Biden has recently indicated he supports the legalization of marijuana -- finally putting an end to the destructive and wasteful war on marijuana and allowing states to decide. President Biden has also publicly stated his desire to fairly treat those who are incarcerated for state legal offenses.    Unless he receives a commutation from President Biden, my Dad will have to serve his full 22 year sentence while others currently prosper for doing the same thing he did: operating a state-legal medical marijuana dispensary! My Dad's co-defendant, Ricardo Montes, was granted sentence commutation on January 19, 2017 BUT, inexplicably, my Dad was PASSED OVER by President Obama and was not granted the same relief from his sentence that Mr. Montes was!! That means I will be without him for another decade unless our caring and thoughtful President Biden grants him his freedom!! I am a senior in high school and he has not been here to see me grow up.   Please sign my petition and ask our President to grant my Dad sentence commutation.  Thank you for your support! To read more about my Dad's case click on this link. To view a recent compelling and heartbreaking video of Luke's story, please go to "Luke Scarmazzo: Injustice Episode 4" on YouTube  

Jasmine Scarmazzo
157,665 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Governor DeWine, Mike DeWine

Free Darin! Governor's pardon, Commutation, or New Trial

Darin Brusiter is 35 years old. He was only 25 when he was arrested. He had no criminal history. He has spent over 9 years in prison and has a sentence of 33 years to Life. He has been appealing his case over and over but it has been a difficult legal battle and now needs your assistance in signing this petition.  Darin is a father of two amazing children ages 12 and 10. He is a son, a brother, a fiancé, and a great person. He has been a singer since he was a child. He has a heart of gold and he has been helping so many people while incarcerated. He never forgets to smile even in the worst of times.  His goal is to one day visit Greece with his fiancé and see the world. He wants to see his children graduate, have more children, be a professional artist, and start a nonprofit organization with his fiancé helping other incarcerated people.  He spends a lot of time in the law library researching and helping others. He loves working out and staying healthy. He loves learning new languages and musical instruments. He knows the lyrics to almost every song and enjoys singing.  Darin and his family need your help to sign this petition. Darin is not a violent individual and is not a danger to the community. He has already served several years. By signing this, you are making a change to everyone around Darin. All his family and friends especially his children. Be the change you want to see in the legal system. Help bring Darin home by signing this petition. <3 

Change Campaign
5,755 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Ron DeSantis, Randolph Bracy, Dianne "Ms Dee" Hart, Anna V. Eskamani, Andrew Learned, Michael A. "Mike" Caruso

A (60) YEAR FL PRISON SENTENCE FOR THE THEFT OF A GOLD CHAIN! JUSTICE FOR DWAYNE COMES NOW

DWAYNE'S IMMEDIATE RELEASE AND/OR RESENTENCING WOULD GREATLY IMPACT OUR FAMILY IN THAT, OUR ELDERLY PARENTS WHO ARE BATTLING SEVERAL DEBILITATING AND DETERIORATING ILLNESSES WILL BE ABLE TO SEE HIM AS FREE MAN BEFORE THE LORD CALLS EITHER OR THEM BOTH HOME.  DWAYNE'S STORY:  For twenty-one (21) years now, Dwayne T. Johnson – DC No. 425552, continues to awake in a Florida State Prison after having been convicted and sentenced to two (2) [(30 Year consecutive sentence terms - for a total of sixty (60) years imprisonment (with affixed minimum mandatory penalties)] for the “theft of a gold chain” (Charged in the Information as one count of Armed Robbery); which was the result of a low-level drug deal gone bad. Dwayne was also charged and plead guilty, taking a plea of (8) years for Possession of cocaine charges – to which he also had an addiction. However, he maintains his innocence of the robbery charge of the Gold Chain and the facts of his case clearly supports his claims and refutes that of the victim and the testimony of the one and only “since recanted” teenage witness.      After hearing the erroneous and egregious verdict, in haste, Dwayne “attempted to run out of the court room” but was (apprehended before leaving the Attorney’s table); Dwayne was then (Charged in the Information with one count of “Escape” – However out on Bond and Not considered In Custody at the time.) He was subsequently found guilty of Escape and handed this cumulative “60 Year Life Sentence (by an all-white jury in a predominantly white and affluent Florida city – Naples, Florida.)      Since the time of his conviction Dwayne has pursued numerous appeals and post-conviction motions which have all been denied. In fact, in May of 2001, only a few months after being found guilty, the trial court conducted a hearing on Dwayne’s motion for new trial based on the affidavit of the one and only State witness, recanting his trial testimony that Dwayne had robbed the victim. Specifically, the witness alleged that the police pressured him to say that Dwayne robbed the victim when he did not know who actually did. The court found this claim to not be credible because the officers who interviewed the victim, who was 16-years-old at the time of trial, disavowed having pressured him to identify Dwayne as the Subject. THE NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE:      On Sunday, December 18, 2016, an unknown man “a new witness” came forth and declared under penalty of perjury that he had a casual conversation with the “alleged victim.” At that time, the victim advised him that there was an individual by the name of Dwayne Johnson, also known as “Nino” who was “supposedly” in prison for robbing him back in early 2000. However, the victim told this new witness that Dwayne Johnson did not rob him. Instead, he (the victim) had pawned his jewelry to Dwayne Johnson for some drugs. The “alleged victim” explained that the only reason he claimed that Dwayne Johnson had robbed him was because his step-father was a law enforcement officer and he did not want him or his mother to know that he lost the jewelry because of drugs. After having this conversation with the “alleged victim”, the new witness, looked up Dwayne on the Florida Department of Corrections website and advised him what the “alleged Victim” had told him. He asserts that despite having served some time in prison, he never met Dwayne Johnson nor knew of his existence.      This new witness is someone who was unknown to Dwayne until he was contacted by him with the information he provided regarding the “alleged victim.” Dwayne could not have known the “alleged victim’s impeaching statement to the new witness at the time of his trial through the exercise of due diligence because this “alleged victim” never disclosed that he had described the incident as a robbery to conceal from his parents the fact that he had pawned his jewelry in exchange for drugs. Finally, in his affidavit, the “new witness” identified the man (“alleged victim”) he spoke to from a booking photograph that was obtained from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. This Motion for an Evidentiary Hearing/Mew Trial based on this newly discovered evidence has been awaiting a ruling for the past two (2) years. Meanwhile, Dwayne is just sitting in prison away from his children and our aged and ill parents to which our mother suffers from chronic Parkinson’s Disease. [Note: The “Alleged Victim has a voluminous and lengthy arrest history for drug use, drug possession, DUI, DWI, etc. in Collier and Lee County, Florida. Of further note, Dwayne plead guilty to drug possession and sale and to date, has served his sentence of nine years in full to include; all of the attached minimum mandatory sentences associated with these charges.]      I am fully aware that you all have focused your reform efforts on those trapped in Federal Prisons however, I am humbly requesting that you all please advocate on those trapped in the State Prison System, namely Florida State Prisons. African Americans in Florida have very little advocacy resources because of the highly Republican base and deep South mentality that impacts minorities and plagued many of our voiceless communities for centuries. The work is certainly here. We just need a blessing from the Lord through your help to gain traction towards significant criminal justice reform. Any type of assistance that you all could provide would be beyond anything we could ever ask for or expect. THE FACTS AND STATS:      As information, despite the lack of evidence, facts, and mitigating circumstances; Florida sends more of its citizens to prison and keeps them there longer than many other states. That is due in part to mandatory minimum and enhancement laws that require a one-size-fits-all approach to sentencing for certain offenses, regardless of an individual’s circumstances or prior record. In fact, within the last ten (10) years, dozens of states (to include, Texas) have passed reforms that saved lives, families, as well as taxpayers money, reduced crime, and reduced prison populations – Florida is not one of them. Rather, Florida spends more than 2.4 billion dollars a year to incarcerate nearly 100,000 people in prison. Moreover, Florida’s laws require those incarcerated to serve 85% of their sentence regardless of changed laws, proven rehabilitation, or the risk an inmate poses to society.      Additionally, Florida over-incarcerates low-level drug offenders and stack them with enhancements and other charges to ensure that they never see the light of day ever again. Supposedly these laws were designed to target kingpins but they ensnare low-level, often first-time offenders. As of 2015, 36.6 percent of Florida’s prisoners were serving time for non-violent crimes such as drug possession, narcotic possession, and property offenses, often tied to addition. Florida has and continues to keep these low-level offenders behind bars for such a long time which has been expensive and counter-productive.      In closing, systemic and excessive sentencing laws throughout our nation and particularly here in Florida (Namely those with minimum mandatory penalties and enhancements) often create unwarranted disparities by treating similar offenders differently and different offenders the same. It is obvious that all of the relevant facts and circumstances of Dwayne’s “alleged crime” was not carefully considered before he was wrongfully and maliciously handed this unfair punishment and “LIFE/DEATH SENTENCE.”  Dwayne is currently 51 years old and his 21 years of incarceration is beyond repaying his debt to society. His continued incarceration is now a debt to Florida taxpayers and citizens. Thus, we are requesting and praying that the facts and evidence in his case be thoroughly reviewed by an Integrity Review Board/Committee and/or the Governor please grant him Clemency or commute his sentence to time served so that Dwayne can be immediately released to his family who desperately needs and misses him. Amen.

Tracy Johnson
8,413 supporters