34 petitions

Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to President of the United States, Office of the Pardon Attorney, Donald Trump

Free Warren Charlton (Petition for Commutation from the President)

Warren Charlton is serving a 30 year sentence for a low-level nonviolent drug offence.  Warren Charlton was indicted in the Northern District of Florida (Case No. 3:12cr 10/LAC) and charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.Warren was not caught with any drugs in his possession. The case against him consisted of the testimony of cooperating codefendants who testified against him in hopes of receiving time reductions off their own sentences. This type of 'cooperation' is common in federal drug cases where many defendants facing mandatory minimum sentences will do whatever is necessary to reduce their exposure and will gladly snitch on other individuals. But as recently noted by Mr. Page Pate (a criminal defense attorney and founding member of the Georgia Innocence Project) "Unfortunately this cooperation usually bears little resemblance to the truth."There was no violence, no guns, no gangs, or ties to large scale drug cartels in Warren's case, yet he was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.One of the factors that played a role in this extraordinarily lengthy prison sentence was the '851 enhancement' that was applied to his case. This enhancement generally doubles the mandatory minimum sentence for a person who has a prior felony drug conviction. Some federal prosecutors use the threat of a 851 enhancement to coerce guilty pleas and cooperation from low-level drug offenders. Warren was hit with the 851 enhancement for exercising his right to a trial.In August 2013 (one year after Warren's sentencing) then Attorney General Eric Holder declared a major change in Justice Department policy, instructing federal prosecutors to avoid mandatory minimum sentences and prior felony enhancements (851 enhancements) in low-level, non-violent drug cases. Mr. Holder declared that "Mandatory minimums and so-called '851 notices' have created unduly harsh sentences and rising prison costs." He also directed prosecutors 'not to seek or threaten to seek 851 enhancements for drug defendants simply to coerce them into a plea agreement', as was done in the case of Warren Charlton. Without the 851 enhancement Warren's sentence would have been significantly lower.President Obama when speaking at the NAACP convention in Philadelphia in July 2015, stated "We've also locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, for longer than ever before, and that is the real reason our prison population is so high." He then went on to say "In far too many cases, the punishment simply does not fit the crime. If you're a low-level drug dealer, or you violate your parole, you owe some debt to society, you have to be held accountable and make amends. But you don't owe 20 years. You don't owe a life sentence. That's disproportionate to the price that should be paid.  "We agree with President Obama, Warren Charlton has to be held accountable and make amends . . . but he does not owe 30 years.

Angelica Charlton
364 supporters
Started 1 year ago

Petition to Don't Break Drake


Since spring 2015, Marin County, under the direction of District 2 Supervisor Katie Rice, has been developing a plan to “rehabilitate” the county’s most vital east-west artery, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard from the Ross Town line to highway 101.  Having been allocated by the Transportation Authority of Marin substantially more money than needed for simple paving, the county formed a Community Advisory Committee and held 3 workshops to help decide what to do with the “extra” money.  No one outside of the immediate neighborhood (except Marin County Bicycle Coalition) was included in the CAC nor was any significant effort made to ensure the notification and participation of the broader community.  As a result, the much-touted “community” input into the project design did not prioritize the needs of the tens of thousands of drivers throughout Central Marin who daily use SFD or alternate routes that will also become seriously congested as drivers seek to escape the SFD gridlock.  Affected constituents who were not alerted or included in the process include those who currently travel regularly via SFD towards the 101 from Fairfax, San Anselmo, Ross, Kentfield and Greenbrae.  The county should also have notified and included in public meetings those who regularly use or live along the alternate routes: 2nd and 4th streets in San Rafael, Magnolia in Larkspur, and Tamalpais in Corte Madera. Now that the design process and (limited) public outreach is largely complete, drivers are belatedly learning of the existence of the SFD Rehabilitation project.   An extended construction period (best guess: 2 years) will back up SFD and divert traffic onto alternate routes. Moreover, the project design contains several elements that will PERMANENTLY slow traffic and/or increase commute times:  e.g., narrower lanes, squared off turning corners, elimination of “slip” lanes for expedited right turns, and an additional signalized crosswalk.   All this comes at a big cost (which has steadily risen to the latest $19 million) with negative benefit. Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is an essential element of our shared community infrastructure.  It should not be reconstructed without the participation and approval of the entire affected constituency.   Accordingly: We, the undersigned, request that the County of Marin reject the current version of the Sir Francis Drake Rehabilitation Plan (“the Plan”) as contrary to the needs of most constituents and to Measure A (sales tax approved for congestion relief). We further request that prior to proceeding with any future Sir Francis Drake Rehabilitation plan the county of Marin: Provide advance official notice from the county regarding the Project to all jurisdictions and residents of the towns and cities impacted by the Plan, including, but not limited to Kentfield, Larkspur, Ross, San Anselmo, Fairfax, San Rafael, and Corte Madera. Officially solicit, compile and tally comments from residents in all the above locales regarding any proposed Sir Francis Drake Boulevard project.  This should be done via well noticed public meetings at which formal presentations and Q&A occur in an assembly format; and by providing email and other addresses to which public comments can be submitted and tallied. Ensure the Plan is in full compliance with both the intent and the letter of the law for Measure A, a sales tax that was approved by voters to fund traffic congestion relief projects.  Funds should not be spent on elements that impede traffic flow or on beautification. Make certain the focus of any SFD Rehabilitation project is on achieving the maximum vehicular flow improvement with the minimum construction-related disruption — unless the above requested public input provides clear direction to the contrary.    

Don't Break Drake
379 supporters