Topic

Criminal Justice

3,020 petitions

Update posted 19 hours ago

Petition to Jay Nixon (Governor of Missouri), Bill Reiboldt

Strengthen Hit and Run Laws in Missouri

On September 12, 2015, my 19 year old son, Matthew Brooks Stevens was walking along Hwy 59 in Neosho, MO when he was hit and killed. The man who hit my son left him dead in the middle of the highway and fled the scene. Two weeks later with an attorney, he turned himself in to authorities. In the State of Missouri, if you leave the scene of an accident, the maximum penalty is a Felony which carries a sentence of 4 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. That's it. There's no suspension or revocation of a Driver's License. And if the accident involves a pedestrian, you have to prove another crime was being committed at the time of the accident (i.e. Driving while Intoxicated) before charges can be increased to manslaughter if the accident resulted in a death. This needs to change!!! For people who kill others with their vehicle and then flee the accident, there needs to be stiffer penalties! I am advocating for change. I'm proposing mandatory sentences, higher fines and a minimum 3-5 year suspension or revocation of licenses. There are other states around Missouri who have modified their laws on Hit & Run to include the very punishments that I just described, yet Missouri has done nothing to create change. Please help me send a clear message to our legislators that our loved ones are more valuable than a $5,000 fine! Thank you for your support!

Stacey Stevens
138,260 supporters
Update posted 23 hours ago

Petition to Barack Obama, Robert Zauzmer

Clemency for Clarissa Burgoon

Clarissa Burgoon is my childhood best friend and is currently serving a 20 year sentence for "conspiracy to commit money laundering," because her ex-boyfriend of 10 years was selling drugs and she "benefited from the money." Her money laundering charge was only for $8,034, but the accounts where all in Clarissa's name. Her attorney advised her she would probably do two years yet she received the maximum 20 year sentence. She never sold any drugs but there where 11 people who, in exchange for reductions in their own sentences, testified that she knew drugs were being sold. This included one man she had never even met. Clarissa has served over 8 years, with clear conduct, and fully accepted responsibility for her actions. She even believes prison forced her to take a hard look at what she was doing, and who she had become. She recognizes that she is responsible for her current situation. She also knows she can only change her future, not her past.  Clarissa desperately wants to reunite with her two beautiful children who lost both their parents to the justice system. From behind bars she sees her kids once every two years. Her sister is battling cancer, and her daughter has had two surgeries because of Turner syndrome. Her kids where separated and only see each other once a year. Not being there for her family and leaving her kids without parents has been the worst punishment imaginable.  While in prison she has worked at UNICOR (prison work program) her entire time in prison and worked her way up to manager at the "Cut and Sew" factory. She makes $1.15 per hour and recently received a certificate of excellence for her work. She has never received a disciplinary write up for any infraction and has completed drug, parenting, and accounting classes to help prepare her for a new life.   Please sign this petition asking President Obama to grant clemency to Clarissa Burgoon. She has served enough time and has a strong desire to help keep others from going down the path she went down. Her family is hopeful that President Obama will commute her sentence because if he does not, she will remain in prison until November 30, 2025.  You can read more about Clarissa's case on the CAN-DO website 

Theresa Magee
20,483 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Barack Obama, Sheila Jackson Lee, Robert A Zauzmer

Grant Clemency To My Son Edwin Walter Rubis, 480 months for marijuana is not justice.

My son, Edwin Walter Rubis, is serving a federal sentence of 40 years for a nonviolent marijuana offense. He was sentenced in Houston, Texas, where statistics have shown that harsh sentences are more often given to minorities. He has been in prison since 1998, and has served as a model inmate for all of those 18 years. It is time for him to get a second chance at life. At the age of 19, Edwin began to battle drug addiction and began to get into trouble with the law. Over the course of his drug addiction we sought him help to get his life in order but to no avail.  At the age of 29, he was slapped with this offense, and we discovered that when a family can’t afford to hire a competent independent attorney, their chances at justice are very slim. Edwin was appointed a lawyer for “indigent defendants,”, and he was immediately advised to give the court information on other drug offenders he knew. Edwin truly did not have the information they were looking for, so he was quickly deemed “uncooperative” and the trial judge gave him a particularly harsh sentence -- 40 years. He has been in prison ever since. He has served 18 years for a nonviolent marijuana offense. Even if he had been fairly represented and his trial hadn’t been weighed against him,18 years is sufficient for this crime. Please sign our petition asking President Obama to grant our son clemency, Edwin Rubis, so he may have a second chance at life. Edwin has been working hard to make his time in prison productive. He has certificates of completion from the psychology and religious departments. He completed a 2-year apprenticeship to be a dental assistant in the medical department. He is active in personal spiritual studies, and is seen as a mentor by his peers for both spiritual and personal character. In fact, a pastor at a rehabilitation program in Florida has said that he has a job opening available for him upon his release. Sadly, we have exhausted all legal avenues in our search for justice for Edwin. I am pleading for him to receive a presidential clemency so that he can continue his rehabilitative work and efforts to help young men deal with situations similar to those he faced during his younger years on the streets. He wants to further his education and help others out of the justice penal system. Please sign this petition urging President Obama to grant my son, Edwin Walter Rubis, clemency. He has been rehabilitated, and he deserves a second chance. Sincerely, Maria Alicia Roque  

Jeremy Malone
137,790 supporters