Coronavirus Prisons

137 petitions

Update posted 14 hours ago

Petition to NYS Department of Corrections Executive Clemency Bureau, Andrew M. Cuomo

Approve Commutation Request

Juan Rivas, 11A3744 was only 19 when he was charged in 2010 of Criminal Sale Firearm and Criminal Sale Control Substance in 2010.  He came from a very respectful family, attended private school and had an excellent upbringing.  However, Mr. Rivas fell into the wrong crowd and fast life of living in NYS.  He was received in the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision on 8/23/2011.  Mr. Rivas received a Aggregate Minimum sentence of 0 years and a Maximum sentence of 16 years.  Mr. Rivas has completed more than 50% of his sentence in NYS prisons.   During his time in prison he underwent surgery and has developed respiratory ailments and severe allergies and asthma that cause him to take several medications to sleep and function throughout the day.  Mr. Rivas is now 30 years old.  He is classified as a mental health inmate receiving services for depression and anxiety.   Although Mr. Rivas is not innocent on his actions, Mr. Rivas was a child, acting in accordance to what he was told by his peers.  He acted on no recognizance and was forced to take the full sentence, while others received 1 year of probation for their participation in the crime; unjustly to charge the youngest participant in the case because he was vulnerable, threatened to receive 30+ years if he did not accept the plea amongst other things. Mr. Rivas is now married and receives support from his family and friends.  His wife and family have developed a resume based on skills he has obtained in prisons to enable him to find employment when he is released in addition, are assisting and encouraging Mr. Rivas to complete his GED.  Mr. Rivas has been transferred several times that he has been unable to complete the GED exam, a flaw that the system is not trying to reintegrate these inmates back into society as law abiding systems, but expecting them to return to these prisons as failures when they were not provided with the adequate tools, resources and training to live productive lives outside of the systems walls.  His wife is employed as a Business Manager as well as owns her own party planning business and has been a strong support system for Mr. Rivas in the last 4 years. This petition is to assist Mr. Rivas family and supporters move the commutation application along for immediate consideration and release of Mr. Rivas.

1,029 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Amiee Maxwell

New Trial For Imam Jamil Al-Amin FKA H. Rap Brown

As Always, We begin with the greeting of peace, As-Salaamu Alaikum, As you may know, my father, Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly H. Rap Brown civil rights leader and humanitarian, was convicted of a murder he did not commit in 2002.  Upon that conviction, we essentially abandoned him. No tangible noise was ever made and as such, my father's conviction and subsequent exile, a vendetta realized, has gone unchecked. The cruel and unusual punishment, the confession of another man, the medical neglect in hopes that he dies, the gag order, the federal holding of a state prisoner away from his attorney's and family,  we've done nothing about anything and because of our lack of action, much like the man himself, the truth about this case and his legacy have been erased from public view. If we don't commit to action, the same action he dedicated himself to for the entirety of his life, the same action many of you are benefiting from while he sits suffering silently, then we have turned our backs on our Imam...your brother and should be ashamed.  We have been fighting this fight in the courts for 20 years and because the outward appearance is that "his people don't even care about him," we haven't gotten anything more than "yes he deserves a new trial but no you can't have one" and again that's on us because, what have we done about it?  Alhamdulillah though, we've been afforded yet another opportunity and this time, we aren't even asking you to decide his guilt or innocence though it should be obvious, we are only asking that you help him get the opportunity to prove his innocence to you and salvage his name. A fair trial, where the man who confessed to this crime actually testifies, where constitutional rights are respected and where the state prosecutors misconduct is not overlooked and subsequently rewarded with a federal judgeship. No, we want a fair trial...that's all. That being said, if you can get behind the idea of Imam Jamil or anyone for that matter finally receiving a fair opportunity to prove their innocence, then please, sign and share our petition. We must let District Attorney Paul Howard and The Fulton County Conviction Integrity Unit know that we are paying attention and we demand fairness and justice at the very least.  Meet me on the front line, Sincerely,  Kairi Al-Amin Attorney & Son of Imam Jamil Al-Amin FKA H. Rap Brown

Kairi Al-Amin
12,881 supporters
Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Michael L. Parson

Clemency for Walter "Arkie" Barton #SaveArkie

MAY 20, 2020 —  Dear Friends, We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the inaction of our state and federal government that led to the execution of Walter "Arkie" Barton yesterday, May 19th, 2020.  Thank you to all who were able to participate in the online vigil for Arkie, as well as those who held vigil with us in various ways across the world. To the many who signed and shared our petition, we know that your voices made an impact in bringing awareness to Arkie's case. For more information and ways to stay involved with Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty please visit Thank you, Lauren Sobchak, Organizer, MADP   Information below was previously posted, MAY 19th, 2020: Friends, Thank you for your calls, letters, and emails to Governor Parson to stop the execution of Walter Barton. Tens of thousands of Missourians have taken action, even while at home, to urge the Governor to stop this execution. While we wait for the United State Supreme Court’s decision, and hopefully the sound mind and spirit of the Governor, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty invites you to an Online Vigil or Celebration of Life for Walter “Arkie” Barton and all victims of the death penalty on May 19th, at 5PM CST. As we hold vigil on this day, we honor the lives of those lost to violence, and all victims of the death penalty. To attend, please go to to view the live feed on May 19th, 5PM CST. You can also join on Zoom using this link: Password: 227903 Speakers and Moderators include: Abe Bonowitz, Director, Death Penalty Action Jude Huntz, Board Chair, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty Nimrod Chapel, Director, Missouri State Conference of the NAACP Shane Claiborn, Red Letter Christians And many others... Thank you for all you are doing in this fight to #SaveArkie. This event will take place whether or not the execution of Walter Barton goes forward and we will be holding space for all victims of the death penalty and the lives lost to mass incarceration in Missouri and beyond. We appreciate all of you in our shared struggle for peace as we work to abolish the death penalty.  Sincerely, Elyse Max, State Director, MADP Lauren Sobchak, Organizer, MADP Information posted below was previously published in Feb. 2020. On Tuesday, February 19, 2020 the State of Missouri issued an execution warrant for Walter “Arkie” Barton. His execution is set for May 19th, 2020. We are asking you to sign this petition to spare his life and ask Governor Parson to grant clemency.      Barton was convicted and sentenced to death for killing an 81-year-old mobile home park operator, Gladys Kuehler, in the town of Ozark in 1991. Over the 25 year history of the case, Barton has been granted several changes of venue.  There have been two mistrials, a trial and conviction, followed by a reversal and remand by the Missouri Supreme Court. The second trial ended in conviction which was upheld by the Supreme Court but later thrown out by a lower court. Barton's fifth and latest trial was held in Cass County, where the jury also found him guilty and recommended the death penalty. During his final appeal in 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled 4 to 3 to uphold his death sentence. In a dissent, Justice Wolff wrote, “Even if the evidence were strong enough to support a conviction, it may not have been enough to warrant the death penalty.” His attorney is basing the  clemency appeal for Walter Barton on two grounds; an innocence claim, and lack of competence to be executed.  Walter Barton’s Innocence Claim According to Walter’s Attorney, Fred Duchardt, Barton was well liked by Ms. Kuehler and her family. Walter was at the scene of the crime when police and family got there to identify the body. During this process Walter ended up with a small blood splatter on the front of his shirt. During the trial, the prosecution brought forward a blood splatter expert that concluded that the blood on Walter’s shirt was enough to convict him for murder. However, the defense never brought forward a blood splatter expert to showcase that it could not have been Walter Barton as Ms. Kuehler was stabbed over 50 times creating a significant amount of blood loss and splatter evidence at the scene.  In addition to the blood spatter evidence, three of the four witnesses that were brought forward to issue statements against Walter have recanted their statements. One of the witnesses who did not recant was incarcerated at the time and entered into a quid pro quo to have charges dismissed in return for their testimony against Walter. Lack of Competency Claim Walter Barton has been under psychiatric care since 2015. His attorney argues that he has never been competent due to a brain injury and his case meets the standards for not competent to execute. Walter is currently in solitary confinement and is confined to a wheelchair.  In Conclusion The death penalty is rife with errors and inconsistencies and has a steep cost financially, and to human life. State governments are not perfect and due to this innocent people are convicted and some even executed by the State. In a statement from Arkie’s attorney, he says “the state of Missouri is about to prove why the death penalty should not be used because they are about to execute an innocent man.” Many Missourians do not support the death penalty, especially under the circumstances of innocence.  Today we are asking you to stand up for justice, sign the petition, and ask Governor Parson to grant clemency to Walter Barton.

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
6,036 supporters