Topic

Criminal Justice

3,054 petitions

Update posted 4 hours ago

Petition to Jeff Sessions

Don't escalate the failed war on drugs.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has just ordered federal prosecutors to seek the harshest punishments possible, including mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.  In 2004, I was given a 55-year mandatory minimum sentence as a first-time marijuana offender — virtually a sentence to die in prison. I had sold marijuana three times to an informant who stated that I had a firearm in my possession. I never used or even showed the firearm, but this allowed prosecutors to charge me with three counts of using a firearm in the course of a drug trafficking offense, that carried a mandatory minimum of five years for the first offense and 25 years for each of the other two offenses.  At my sentencing, even the judge disagreed with the sentence. He called it “unjust, cruel, and even irrational,” and pointed out that shorter federal sentences have been given to violent criminals such as murderers, child rapists, and even terrorists. I was only 24 years old when I was sentenced. While imprisoned for 13 years, I missed my children growing up and the fruits of a promising music career. Yet, no problem was solved. This waste of human life must end.  I’m only free because bipartisan lawmakers and advocates, and even the man who prosecuted me, came together to say that my sentence was wrong. My release was part of a changing attitude toward nonviolent drug offenders, with both Republicans and Democrats working together to make sentences fairer. But now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is working to undo this progress.  Sessions decision to order prosecutors to seek the longest sentences possible reverses a directive from former Attorney General Eric Holder that instructed prosecutors to use their discretion and avoid long sentences for low-level drug offenders. Please sign my petition asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reconsider his push for mandatory minimum sentences. 

Weldon Angelos
39,811 supporters
Update posted 16 hours ago

Petition to John Hickenlooper, Alan Loeb, Catherine P. Adkisson

Release Rene Lima-Marin

My husband Rene Michael Lima-Marin was incarcerated in 1998 at the age of 19 and served 10 years of his 16 year sentence for robbery in which he used an unloaded gun and no one was hurt. He was released in 2008 and placed on parole which he successfully completed in 2013. But in January 2014 it was determined that a clerical error had been made and he was sent back to prison for an additional 90 years.   During his six years of freedom, Rene strived to be a productive member of society.  He had been rehabilitated and took full advantage of this second chance; we had a child, purchased a home, and got married. He coached his step-son’s soccer team, mentored other youth to stay out of trouble, and maintained full time employment so he could support our family. To take him away from our family and lock him up for the rest of his life is unjust. I certainly do not want to make light of the mistakes that Rene made as a teenager but I do call into question the life sentence Rene and our family faces. Does a man that was formally released from the penal system, met all the conditions of this release, and turned his life around deserve this type of justice? Are we as a society really willing to accept that a clerical error is enough justification to rip apart a family?   Rehabilitate means to help re-adapt, as to a former state of health or good repute. The entire penal system was created to rehabilitate and restore individuals to be productive members of society.   Please sign my petition asking Attorney General John Suthers, Arapahoe County Chief Judge William Blair Sylvester, and Colorado Appeals Chief Judge Alan Loeb to release Rene from this unjust sentencing. I ask for this so he may return home where he can continue to be a tax paying model employee, an engaged and loving father and a supportive husband.

Jasmine Lima-Marin
285,823 supporters