Topic

Clemency

258 petitions

Update posted 8 hours ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, President Donald Trump, Pardon Attorney Lawrence Kupers, Attorney General William Barr

Clemency for David M. Barren Serving 30 Years!

My family member, David Barren, is serving 30 years for a non-violent drug offense. David was sentenced to LIFE plus 20 years in federal prison for drug conspiracy. On January 19, 2017, he was commuted to a 30 year sentence by President Obama, though it was a "Bittersweet" outcome! Unfortunately David will not be released until "2034"!!!! David has never been to prison, no history of violence, and has no substantial criminal record to support a LIFE sentence plus 20 years. His conviction was based primarily on "hear-say" of witnesses who testified against him in exchange for reduced sentences of their own. David accepts full responsibility for his actions and is truly remorseful for any harm he has caused to his community, family, and those affected by his unwise choices. During his 10 plus years of incarceration, he continues to have a positive outlook on life and works very hard to rehabilitate himself. He has obtained a Paralegal Certificate from Adams State University in Colorado with a 4.0 GPA via correspondence courses, read numerous books to enhance his thirst for knowledge, and mentors younger inmates on his own. Notably, David has been supported by numerous respected members of his community, including Congressman Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State Representative Edward Gainey who've both reviewed David's case and suggest David's sentence is overly harsh and because of his harsh drug sentence, he is a worthy candidate for executive clemency. David comes from a loving family who continues to support him vigorously. His parents (82) and (84) respectively visit David every weekend unless weather permits otherwise. His four siblings, six children, and extended family also continues to be a strong support system via phone calls, cards, letters, and visits to maintain a viable communication line within the family. Because of David's family support and rehabilitative efforts, he is well prepared for release as a productive citizen to society.  There is a consensus among human rights organizations and sentencing advocates that individuals serving lengthy non-violent prison sentences such as David, will no doubt die in prison if President Donald Trump doesn't commute his sentence. Many believe that the next President will not be as compassionate and understanding.  Please help me urge President Donald Trump to grant David Morris Barren's clemency petition.  David will no doubt die in federal prison with a 30 year sentence for a non-violent drug offense. I humbly thank you for your support in efforts to give David a second chance at his life.       "Read more about his case: Dave is #9  on the CAN-DO Top 25 Men Who Deserve Clemency  

Anrica Caldwell
19,974 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Andrew M. Cuomo

Patrick Stephens deserves clemency!

Clemency means forgiveness or leniency in judgment; to show mercy.  A commutation of sentence (a form of executive clemency) reduces an incarcerated person’s current sentence.  Please support clemency for Patrick Stephens.  Patrick is in his 23rd year of a 25 year to life sentence for murder, committed in 1995 when he was only 22 years old.  Although a first time violent offender, he was sentenced the maximum time possible for second-degree murder; the minimum being 15 years.  Patrick's quest for personal growth and demonstrated commitment to helping others unquestionably meets the criteria the State has used to define those worthy of clemency - he “has made exceptional strides in self-development and improvement; has made responsible use of available rehabilitative programs; has addressed identified treatment needs and the commutation is in the interest of justice, consistent with public safety and the rehabilitation of the applicant” See Apply for Clemency, Commutations, available at http://www.ny.gov/services/apply-clemency (last visited April 4, 2020).  With the strong support of his family, he has a reentry plan in place that will set him up for success upon his release.   Patrick is now 47 years old.  He has made remarkable strides while in prison, including earning his Associate’s Degree and Bachelor's Degree from Bard College. And as of September 2020, he earned his Master’s Degree from New York Theological Seminary.  He has received certificates and licenses in approximately 20 programs, learned (and is now fluent in) Spanish, and is a member of the Bard Debate Union.  In addition to his educational growth, Patrick has dedicated his time to helping other incarcerated individuals, including those with HIV and AIDS. Patrick has participated in several programs that helped reframe his way of thinking about conflict resolution and communicating with others.  Beyond this, he has facilitated and developed programs and workshops on behalf of other incarcerated men, displaying a pattern of community commitment.   Most importantly, Patrick has learned what he did not know when he was just 22—that violence and taking a life is never the answer to resolve conflict. He takes full responsibility for his actions and is sorry for the life lost and the pain he caused the family. A common theme in the numerous letters of support written on Patrick's behalf is one of growth, change, and maturity. The letters speak of his change in thinking, calm and thoughtful demeanor, and encouragement and mentorship of others—a far cry from the rebellious, impulsive 22 year-old who committed the offense. The fact that so many people felt compelled to write letters is a testament to his character. Patrick has clearly demonstrated he is remorseful and willing to live up to his potential to be a valued member of society.  With his educational achievements during his incarceration, there is minimal risk of repeated offense and recidivism.  His family and contacts in the academic community will provide an extensive support network, further reducing the risk.  Further incarceration no longer serves any purpose for the People of New York.  Therefore, in the interest of justice and reform, Patrick Stephens should be granted clemency. For additional information about Patrick's experience and achievements, please visit DoingSorry.com.  Thank you for your support!

Alana S.
6,768 supporters
Started 3 days ago

Petition to Secretary of Public Saftey and Homeland Security Brian Moran, Secretary of The Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson, Director of Clemency Dianna Fortune, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Justin Fairfax, Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam

Juvenile Justice VA / Mario Reyes

We at Juvenile Justice VA are fighting to right the wrongs our criminal justice system has perpetuated against juvenile offenders by imposing upon them lengthy prison sentences that are unethical, immoral, and unconstitutional. We believe it is unjust for any Court of Law to hold juvenile offenders to adult standards and to punish them as such. Our mission is to highlight these cases of sentencing abuse and work with our growing network of juvenile justice advocates to bring about solutions that allow closure for any victims involved while also ensuring that the unique psychological factors of juvenile offenders are taken into account in their punishment. When Mario Reyes was 15 years old, he and one of his friends got into what was supposed to have been a fistfight with another group of teens at their neighborhood park. Prior to this day, Mario had no serious criminal history or history of violence. However, the fistfight got out of hand when Mario's friend grabbed a baseball bat and hit one of the other teens with it. That teen later died from his injuries. Although Mario was not the person who used the weapon or delivered those fatal blows, he and his friend were both charged and convicted of first-degree murder. Mario's culpability in the fight is without question, but he did not commit first degree murder, nor should he have been convicted of it. While Mario was awaiting trial, his public defender convinced him to enter a plea agreement for 10 to 15 years in prison under the threat that if he did not accept the plea, he would receive a life sentence. What's important here is that Mario was allowed to enter this plea agreement without his mother's presence or consent. In 2012, at just 16 years old, Mario was sentenced to 50 years in prison with 22 years suspended, leaving him to serve a total of 28 years behind bars. Any period of confinement that exceeds 25 years is considered life imprisonment in most states, including Virginia. It has been ruled unconstitutional to sentence juvenile offenders to life imprisonment; likewise, sentences that constitute the equivalent of life imprisonment, such as Mario's 28 years sentence, should also be deemed unconstitutional and given consideration for reduction / commutation. Mario is one of many offenders in Virginia, and across the nation, who were handed these harsh sentences as juveniles. Throughout the ten years Mario has been incarcerated, he has matured from a 16 year old adolescent to a 25 year old adult. Ten years in prison is by any measure a proportionate and parsimonious punishment for his role leading to the offense that was committed. More importantly, he has spent his time behind bars productively, obtaining his GED and completing the requisite rehabilitative programs. Mario takes full responsibility for the harm he's caused and continues to show remorse through his genuine desire to change his behavior. No child should be sentenced to spend 28 years (a technical life sentence) behind bars being punished for decisions they made as juveniles. After spending a decade in prison, the means of Mario's incarceration have been met. Giving his status as a juvenile at the time of the offense, as well as all the other mitigating circumstances, we are seeking executive clemency for Mario. If granted, this will allow him to return home to his family where he can make positive contributions to society. Mario hopes to use his story as a cautionary tale to help deter other at-risk adolescents from making the poor choices he made (choosing the wrong peer groups). Please help Mario receive a second chance at his freedom by signing this petition in the interest of juvenile justice.

Mario Reyes
378 supporters
Update posted 1 week 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
101,629 supporters