Criminal Justice

1,161 petitions

Update posted 6 hours ago

Petition to Douglas A. Silliman, Joey Hood, Rex W. Tillerson, Donald J. Trump, Sylvia Evans

Help free a disabled U.S Veteran wrongfully imprisoned in Kuwait.

My daughter may never see her father again. Jermaine Rogers has served his country both in the military and as a contractor overseas. He now faces a lifetime in a foreign jail over fake drug charges. I need your help to get the Trump administration to bring him home. U.S. civilians serving to protect our country and in support of our military have been targeted by Kuwaiti police in the past. These charges have often turned out to be false, but only after the U.S. government intervened on their behalf. Jermaine needs that intervention today. Please sign my petition asking the Trump administration to demand the release of Jermaine Rogers so he can come back to the U.S. Death by hanging. That is almost what happened to Jermaine when he was falsely accused of dealing drugs. The death sentence was dropped, but a lifetime in jail isn’t much better, especially when you are innocent and thousands of miles away in a foreign land. I know Jermaine is innocent. He believes in serving America and that means representing our country with pride and the best behavior. Even if you do not believe my pleas, we should all agree a man who has served his country should not get life in prison for the non-violent crimes they claim he committed. So many people are standing up and speaking on behalf of Jermaine — people like U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut. As his family, we can’t thank them enough. We now need you. Please sign my petition today. Your signature will help bring our family together again and ensure actual justice is served for an American hero.

Karina Mateo
44,436 supporters
Update posted 24 hours ago

Petition to Virginia Governor

Support A Second Chance for Kelly Dara

Government has a vested interest in justice, but not in vengeance. Far too many of our youth have been sentenced harshly in response to crimes committed when they were just teens. Kelly Dara is one of these. She was just seventeen when she and her then boyfriend decided to run away to North Carolina from Virginia Beach. They intended to steal a car and leave, and so they chose a boy Kelly knew from High School who had a car. She called the boy over to her home with the intent to steal his automobile, but things rarely go as planned, and that young man died as a result of the confrontation between Kelly's boyfriend and the victim. A day later, both would find themselves in custody in North Carolina. For her part in the crime, Kelly was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. She will spend the rest of her life in prison. That was twenty years ago. Her first hope to get out of prison comes in 22 more years and even then, she may not be released. Our system of justice exists to punish the offender for the transgressions of our law, but we do not discard the individual as a matter of course because we also expect prison to reform the prisoner. Such sentences go beyond the severity of the crime and enter the realm of vengeance in regard to teen offenders. This is because such sentences view our children as disposable, despite the massive potential for change inherent in them. This potential has been recognized by the United States Supreme Court when they declared mandatory life without parole sentences to be a violation of the eighth amendment for juveniles in Miller v. Alabama. This is because a child's mind is far different from that of an adult. Modern science proves this beyond doubt. So it turns out that when our forebears set the age of majority at 21, they knew what they were doing. The salient point is this: people change over time. How much more does a child change over time? This is why I believe that all life without parole sentences handed out to juvenile offenders should also be included as a violation of the eighth amendment forbidding cruel and unusual punishment. Twenty years ago, I was a different man than the one who writes this today. But that difference is dwarfed by the difference from who I was at seventeen or eighteen to the man that I am today. Kelly Dara is no different. She works, she attends college, she has taken advantage of numerous self help programs while she has been incarcerated, and she has never lost hope for a brighter future despite her circumstances. She accepts that what she did was wrong and accepts responsibility for her part, but she has changed while in prison and has grown since she was a girl of seventeen. The truth is that the girl who was convicted twenty years ago, does not exist today. She has matured and grown in that time and is now a woman. Is she never to be given a chance to prove that she has matured and reformed? For if that is the case, then what is the point of our system of justice? Do we as a society endorse a justice system that views our children as disposable or do we affirm a belief in redemption and forgiveness? I contend that the first goes to vengeance, the second to justice. I never knew the seventeen year old Kelly Dara, but I know the woman that she is today. She is kind, considerate, hard working, and an accomplished student. All that she asks is forgiveness and a chance to prove that she has truly changed. I believe in her, and I ask you to sign this petition to encourage the Governor of Virginia to grant her that chance by allowing her to apply for parole.

William Stout
669 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Eric Greitens

Spare Russell a painful death and stay his execution

The Missouri Supreme Court has scheduled Russell Bucklew to be executed on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. His previous execution date in 2014 was stayed by the United States Supreme Court because of his rare health condition that could cause him great pain during the execution process. Sign this petition to ask Governor Greitens to show mercy and spare Russell a painful, gruesome death. Russell's medical condition, cavernous hemangioma, causes weakened and malformed blood vessels. During the execution process, tumors in his nose and throat could rupture and bleed.  The U.S. Supreme Court already found his medical condition reason to stay his execution in 2014. Today, Russell continues to suffer from this same condition. Carrying out this death sentence would be inhumane, especially in the context of many other recent botched executions around the country.  Sign this petition now to ask Governor Greitens to stay Russell's execution. Russell was convicted and sentenced to death by a Boone County jury in 1997. He has been in prison for two decades now, and an inhumane execution will not restore or undo the harm he caused so long ago.   We do not ask that he be exempt from accountability for his crimes - we only ask that Missouri avoid its own horrific display of how the state can use its power to take life so ineffectively and inhumanely. Our justice system, and particularly our response to violence, fails to heal our communities. We need a response to crime that does not perpetuate the cycle of violence. The death penalty is rife with errors and inconsistencies, fails to deter crime, and has a steep cost in not only financial but human terms. Death is not justice, and we should not execute this man. EDIT: In light of the recent Buzzfeed investigation revealing that Missouri's source of lethal injection drugs is a backwater, shady pharmacy with multiple citations and lawsuits against it, we must stop this execution.   As BuzzFeed found, "Foundation Care, a 14-year-old pharmacy based in the suburbs of St. Louis that has been repeatedly found to engage in hazardous pharmaceutical procedures and whose cofounder has been been accused of regularly ordering prescription medications for himself without a doctor’s prescription... Foundation Care is what is known as a compounding pharmacy, one that mixes specialty drugs that are not readily available on the market. These pharmacies are more loosely regulated than traditional manufacturers, and slipshod practices at some of them have led to tainted drugs and deadly disease outbreaks." Foundation Care has also had multiple lawsuits from employees, one of which is ongoing and alleges that "Foundation Care violated state or federal regulations by reselling drugs returned by patients, purposefully omitting the names of ingredients in drugs it prepared, and failing to notify other states about a $300,000 settlement with Kansas over allegations of Medicaid fraud. The suit also accuses one of the pharmacy’s founders of 'regularly and frequently' ordering prescription medications for himself without a prescription, a crime that carries up to a year behind bars. One of the employees alleged that during a dispute with the founders, she was held against her will and feared she would be physically struck."

Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
1,000 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Governor Bill Haslam

Don't Resume Executions in Tennessee

The state of Tennessee is now planning to resume executions after almost a decade without one--despite the nearly deadly mistakes of sending four wrongfully convicted individuals to death row on four different occasions. These men spent decades fighting for their freedom and were finally released from prison. To date, over 160 people have been freed from death rows across the country when evidence of their innocence emerged – including me. My name is Paul House. For 22 years, I sat on Tennessee’s death row where I developed an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis for which I received no care. By the time of my release, I was bound to a wheelchair, experiencing significant challenges to my speech and movement. I remain in a wheelchair today and am cared for by my mother, Joyce. The more we execute, the more likely it is that we will execute an innocent person. When a human life is at stake, there is simply no room for error. Sign this petition today to urge Tennessee not to resume executions in the state. After being released from prison in 2007 and with all charges against me finally dropped in 2009, my mother and I continue to work to prevent this from happening to anyone else, sharing my story with anyone who will listen. The death penalty system is failing as it consistently proves to be ineffective, unfair, and inaccurate, while the public’s approval of it as a means of achieving justice continues to decline. Even in cases of guilt, growing evidence suggests that the death penalty can prolong victims’ families’ pain and delay healing while appeals and reversals force them to relive their trauma again and again. As someone who faced execution for a crime I didn’t commit, I ask you to sign this petition, urging the state of Tennessee not to resume executions in order to prevent wrongful executions.   (Pictured above: Death row exoneree Paul House and his mother, Joyce. Photo by Edward Tse.)    

Paul House + TADP
10,594 supporters