Petition to Bill Haslam
Re-Trial for Cyntoia Brown
Cyntoia Brown was only 16 years old when she received a prison sentence of 51 years for first-degree murder. She murdered a man named Johnny Allen, who had been sexually abusing her. She was a victim of sex trafficking and was later sold to the man she had killed. She feared for her life and believed that he would kill her first, so she killed him before he could kill her. I pray that this petition helps Cyntoia get a re-trial, her case dismissed, or a shorter sentence with time served. Please sign this petition calling for a re-trial of her case. This is a very sad story, especially due to the fact that she was only a child when it happened. Going through the things she went through at such a young age is very traumatizing. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, no one can ever understand what that does to a child’s mindset. If she didn't build up the courage and take a risk to save herself, she would still be going through the same thing or sadly, dead. Our laws really need to change to stop letting people like Johnny get away with things like this. Cyntoia needed help after what she went through, not her life taken away from her once again. Sign this petition calling for her re-trial! #JusticeForCyntoiaBrown
Petition to Douglas A. Silliman, Joey Hood, Rex W. Tillerson, Donal J. Trump, Mike Pence
Father and Disabled U.S Veteran wrongfully Sentenced to Death by Hanging in Kuwait
My name is Karina Mateo and my fiancé is Jermaine Rogers. We have a beautiful six-year-old daughter, Kiahuren. Kiahuren adores her daddy. In her eyes, he’s more than a father; he is a hero. Her daddy bravely served his country and after his enlistment became an expat in Kuwait to aid our U.S. Troops. Each night my daughter tearfully asks why her daddy has not called and when is he coming home. How do I explain to our daughter that the love of our lives has been sentenced to death by hanging? How do I break my daughter’s heart? How do I tell her that her hero saved others, but nobody’s willing to save him? My heart breaks to think of him in such a horrible predicament and it breaks even more to think that one day I may have to tell our child a story that will break her heart, too. You’ll never hear Daddy’s voice again and Daddy isn’t coming home. Please read and share the story below. We need your help to bring Jermaine home! We cannot survive this nightmare without your help! We cannot sit by quietly while Jermaine, a devoted father and a loving man is murdered. On October 6, 2015 Jermaine Rogers was arrested in his apartment in Mahabula Kuwait, the warrant the CID had was issued for an individual named Mohamed not Jermaine, also the address on the warrant was issued for Block 1 street 1, Mahboula (Jermaine's Address was Block 1 street 2, Plaza bldg. 18 Mahboula) different from Jermaine’s address. The CID officers gathered evidence from Jermaine’s apartment and sent them to the Kuwait drug testing laboratory the first test resulted in seventeen (17) different items all tested and all seventeen (17) items came back without drugs found or detected. When Jermaine’s lawyer presented the court the test result from the laboratory than two days later a second lab report was requested by CID and instead of seventeen items it contain eighteen (18) items adding seven (7) grams of cocaine. This was a direct indication that the investigation is flawed also the CID tried to hide the first lab results as indicated by the lawyer. On September 18, 2016 Jermaine attended his sentencing court hearing; his lawyer provided evidence as well as testimony from the arresting officer proving he was not caught selling drugs, importing drugs or even having drugs in his possession proving without any doubt his innocence. Seven days later he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for importing and manufacturing 7 grams of cocaine. The Death Penalty is carry out in Kuwait by public hanging. After sentencing, his lawyer sent me multiple audio messages (in Arabic) which were translated to English. Per the Lawyer: “I felt so confident Jermaine would be found innocent and released the day of the hearing I sent my Paralegal in my place. I was shocked by the verdict. The substances did not convict Jermaine as the substances were not illegal substances. A bag of cocaine was planted in the police files while at the CID office after initial test showed no drugs or illegal substances found so a second lab report was sent 2 days later with now a bag containing the 7 grams of cocaine. completely new charge was given instead of possession it became manufacturing cocaine...Jermaine’s conviction is unjust as well as a travesty to the laws of Kuwait”. (Audio messages available upon request) Jermaine Rogers is a United States Citizen and Military Disabled Veteran who has worked as a contractor in Kuwait-Camp Arifjan. For over 11 years he has worked diligently to support our United States Military. The United States Embassy in Kuwait has no legal jurisdiction over Kuwaiti legal system therefor they can’t assist. Jermaine's; family, his children, myself and friends, we implore you to support our efforts to FREE Jermaine Rogers. Jermaine has spent over 13 months in Kuwait prison and despite all evidence and the laws of Kuwait showing his innocence, he has been sentenced to death by hanging, Jermaine has suffered both mental and physical abuse at the hands of Kuwaiti authorities. He has not been allowed phone calls or visitation; and his family especially in regards to Kiki I am unable to explain to her, why the phone call she anticipated each Saturday morning no longer arrives. Jermaine needs medication for multiple, combat related medical condition which he is not being provided. This has resulted in his health conditions deteriorating and requiring multiple emergency medical treatments at a Kuwait hospital. Kuwaiti prisons refuse to provide adequate food or clothing for Jermaine. Everything he needs fall on the support from family just so he's able to have proper drinking water or soap, to bath with and the living conditions are unsanitary. Jermaine Rogers is a U.S. Army Veteran unjustly being held as a prisoner in Kuwait's central Prison in the Death Row Ward. The same prison that recently had one death and 55 injuries due to a fire cause by negligence’s. I beg you to support us in this fight with a sense of urgency. Jermaine Rogers is not a criminal. He is a victim of the Kuwaiti justice system, policies and procedures that twist and change the laws as they see fit. If we do not fight to save his life, then he will become a victim of the United States policies as well. Even though this is a legal matter we ask that you help us focus on Jermaine’s human rights and the rights of all people unjustly prosecuted and left to die. A United States Citizen, Military Veteran, and above all a “father’s life” depend on YOUR immediate action! The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Kuwaiti Constitution (articles 5, 10, 11); Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984; and the Geneva Conventions of 1949—empty promises or promises to be kept? All tyranny needs, is for people of good conscience to remain silent. (Thomas Jefferson)
Petition to Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Eric Holcomb, Indiana State Police, House of Judiciary Committee, Melania Trump, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Comission
Open a State Murder investigation for the fatal beating of Alissa Guernsey.
This is Alissa's story of INJUSTICE..... On March 28, 2009 Sixteen month old Alissa Guernsey was in the sole care and custody of her mother's cousin, Christy Shaffer, when she was killed from Blunt Force Trauma to her head. Her death was ruled a HOMICIDE. In the months prior to her death, Alissa had also endured multiple bruising all over her body, a broken elbow, stitches to the head, multiple severe cuts inside of her mouth, and her once beautiful blonde hair had been ripped out, all while in the custody of Shaffer. Christy Shaffer was charged with two counts of Neglect of a Dependent (for not getting Alissa medical attention), a Class B and C felony. She was allowed to plea down to just the Class B charge, the ClassC was dropped. She was given a 10 year sentence for the Neglect charge, with 6 years suspended. Judge Vanderbeck revisited her sentence and she was released after serving just 77 DAYS. Christy Shaffer was never charged with Murder after the investigation CLEARLY showed that Baby Alissa's death was ruled a HOMICIDE. NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ALISSA'S HOMICIDE. A KILLER IS WALKING FREE IN INDIANA. BRING ALISSA'S KILLER TO JUSTICE AND PROPERLY CLOSE THIS OPEN HOMICIDE. ****************************************************************************************** Our mission is to have the Grand Jury transcripts of this case unsealed, and to have the wrongdoing in case fully investigated, and the rightful killer of Alissa Beth Guernsey be charged with her HOMICIDE. WE THE PEOPLE RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT THIS UNSOLVED MURDER BE SOLVED AND THE CASE CLOSED. This case NEEDS TO BE RE INVESTIGATED due to the MULTIPLE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST associated with the Prosecutor and the Judge involving personal and professional relationships with the defendants father, and also the doctor that treated Alissa for the 3 months that she was being tortured until she was ultimately MURDERED. FRAUD UPON THE COURT NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED. GROSS PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT AND JUDICIAL MISUSE OF POWER DETERMINED THE OUTCOME OF THIS ENTIRE CASE!WE WILL NOT REST UNTIL ALISSA GETS THE JUSTICE SHE WAS DENIED! THIS IS STILL AN UNSOLVED HOMICIDE OF A 16 MONTH OLD INNOCENT BABY, WHO WAS TORTURED AND BEATEN TO DEATH.
Petition to Jerry Brown, California State Senate, California State House
Reduce Sentences for Prisoners Fighting California Fires.
As fires ripped through Northern California burning down over 8,000 homes and other buildings, and killing over 40 people, 1,700 of those fighting fires on the front lines have been California state prisoners. In fact, 30% of California’s forest firefighters, nearly 4,000, are prisoners. While it’s a long standing practice for prisoners to work while incarcerated as a form of rehabilitation, we would be better served by rewarding prisoners who have demonstrated exceptional conduct in prison with a sentence reduction. I was a first time nonviolent drug offender who served 9 years of a 24 year sentence before President Clinton granted me clemency. I can think of no group that deserves a second chance more than those who, serving time for minor crimes, choose to risk their lives to save others by fighting fires. In February 2016, 22-year-old Shawna Lynn Jones, was killed when she was struck in the head by a falling rock while fighting fires in Malibu. She was serving time for violating probation for a drug offense and was scheduled to be released just two months later. Over the last year, at least two other prisoners have died while performing firefighting duty. One man was crushed by a tree, another accidentally cut a femoral artery with a chainsaw. Prisoners earn approximately $2 a day, or up to $1 an hour if fighting an active fire, through a program with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. There are 43 conservation camps in California where adult offenders work. These prisoners are screened and anyone with violent tendencies or attitude problems is not allowed into the program. Around 30 to 40 percent work 24-hour shifts, then get 24 hours of rest. At most, prisoners can earn up to two days off for each day they’re in the conservation camps. This program is estimated to save the state $124 million a year, amounting to 3 million hours of labor to fight or prevent fires. We can do better for people who clearly pose no threat to society. Please sign my petition asking California Governor Jerry Brown to exercise his clemency privilege toward prisoners who have risked life and limb to save the homes and lives of countless California citizens, animals, and hundreds of thousand of acres of forestry. Thank you, Amy PovahCAN-DO Foundation
Petition to State of North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission
Deny Parole to Convicted Murderer in North Carolina
Petition to Deny Parole to Inmate Ervin L. Terry (DOC Num: 0402745) We, the undersigned, petition the State of North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission to deny parole to Inmate Ervin L. Terry. On March 24, 1992, the Supreme Court of North Carolina convicted the Inmate of First-Degree Murder and Second-Degree Murder of Mr. Timothy Wayne Pernell and Mr. David Ronald Talley, respectively. The acts occurred on August 23, 1991, in Kittrell, North Carolina, at Variety Pickup Store, where Mr. Talley and Mr. Pernell had stopped, along with their friend, Mr. Shelton Edward Peoples, who suffered serious injuries. The court also convicted the Inmate of Assault with a Deadly Weapon in connection with the gunshot wounds of Mr. Peoples. Tragically, the deceased left behind two small children: Brittany Pernell, merely ten months old, and Cameron Talley, only eleven months old at the time of his father’s death. Further, the young spouses of Mr. Talley and Mr. Pernell were left to care for their infants as they mourned the deaths of their husbands and faced years to come of anxiety, depression, and emotional hardship. In addition, the events that transpired on this day affected the family of Mr. Peoples, along with the extended families of Mr. Pernell and Mr. Talley. The quaint community of Kittrell, North Carolina, also mourned as it suffered the tragic loss of three honorable young men on this August day. Kittrell is a small town outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, where its residents feel safe and, like in many small towns, neighbors are always willing to lend a helping hand. Neighbors such as these include the victims herein, who were merely helping one another build a barn for the Pernell family on the day the acts occurred and had stopped at the Variety Pickup Store to take a quick break. The release of the Inmate would be detrimental to this charming town in North Carolina, as many of its citizens would be forced to live in fear for the foreseeable future, knowing a convicted murder has been released in their area. As such, we petition that parole be denied for reasons including, but not limited to, the following: 1) The Inmate would be a danger to society. The Inmate committed the aforementioned acts against individuals whom he had not previously interacted. Such behavior indicates the Inmate has a general propensity to kill others. 2) The families of the deceased and the affected would be at risk should the Inmate be released. To permit the release of the Inmate is to put the family of the deceased in immediate physical danger, as it would the convicted the freedom to engage in further criminal conduct, especially crimes against the family of the man who he murdered. Due to the offender’s violent and unlawful past, it is unlikely he would comply with any conditions of parole. 3) The families of the deceased would suffer increased psychological and emotional hardship should the Inmate be released. Members of the Pernell and Talley families have suffered extreme psychological and emotional hardship as a result of the loss of their loved ones, forcing them to battle years of anxiety and depression. The release of the convicted would exacerbate such conditions. As stated above, such a release would endanger members of society, not in the least the Pernell, Talley, and Peoples families. As such, we petition the State of North Carolina Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission to deny the parole of the Inmate, and in the alternative, only release the Inmate with the strictest conditions of parole as permitted by law.
Petition to Barack Obama, President Donald Trump
GRANT FELIX WALLS an EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY
Oct 30, 2015 — Petition For Commutation of Sentence/Clemency TO : The President of the United States The undersigned petitioner, Felix Walls, Reg. No. 02414112, date of birth January 19, 1942, a United States citizen, who has no prior filing of said petition, being a federal prisoner; convicted for a violation of 21 U.S.C. 841 and 846 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan sentenced to life imprisonment on February 3, 2003, on a plea of not guilty. Having sought review by the Supreme Court prays for commutation of sentence and/or clemency and in support of my petition I ask that you please take into consideration the fact that this petition also falls under the “Compassionate Release’ as I am a senior citizen with deteriorating health, I can barely move around and barely see at times. I have done over 20 years of imprisonment and such time has been served for a non violent offense. Further, I have a biological daughter who is in desperate need of a kidney donor. I, as her biological father may very well a potential donor for her. I ask that it is taken into consideration that I may very well be her only chance for being a match for her. Further, in support there of the petition I state as follows; All Subsequent Indictments are in clear violation of the Speedy Trial Act. The delay between the arrest and each superseding trial is in clear violation of the Speedy Trial Act. Had the supeserseding indictments been timely made (though they were not ) they are defective as a superseding indictment may narrow, but not broaden, the charges made in the original indictment. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 3288-3289; United States v. Miller, 471 U.S. 130 (1985) The complaint that resulted in the petitioner’s arrest contains a charge not contained in the original indictment but added in a superseding indictment, which is not filed within thirty days of the original complaint; the charge is subject to dismissal. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 3161(b),3162(a)(1) The original criminal indictment is a fatal, defect, the original indictment does not pass constitutional muster, an indictment “must allege lucidly and accurately all the essential elements of the [crime] . . . charged.” The original indictment failed to meet this requirement, it suffers from a fatal defect and cannot support a conviction. Fatal defects in indictments are jurisdictional, and may be raised at any time. Further the indictment failed to allege drug amounts or penalty statutes, in violation of Apprendi v. New Jersey ,530 U.S. 466 (2000). See also FRCP Rule 7©(1). See Also U.S. v Landham, 251 F.3d 1072, 1082 (2001) Any factor other than conviction that increases the Defendant sentence must be determined by a jury. See Apprendi v New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000)* this includes the constitutionality of any prior convictions See Tucker, 404 U.S. 443 The petitioner’s “valued right to have his trial completed by a particular tribunal” is within the protection of the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy, since it is that “right” that lies at the foundation of the federal rule that jeopardy attaches when the jury is empanelled and sworn. United States v. Martin Linen Supply Co. Also, The Double Jeopardy Clause protects a criminal defendant from multiple successive prosecutions for the same offense that arise from prosecutorial overreaching engaged in with the deliberate intent of depriving him of having his trial completed by a particular tribunal or prejudicing the possibility of an acquittal that the prosecutor believed likely . Double Jeopardy as well as collateral estoppel precluded further institution of charges as well as successive punishment. An accused may not be sentenced on the basis of materially false assumptions or misinformation, but must be based upon reliable and accurate information. See Townsend v Burke, 334 U.S. 736, see also Morrisry v Brewer, 408 U.S. 471 (1972). CERTIFICATION AND PERSONAL OATH I hereby certify that to the best of my knowledge, information and belief that the information as provided above and contained herein is true and correct. I understand that any intentional misstatements of material facts contained in the petition may cause an adverse action and may subject me to penalties, criminal and/or civil.
Petition to Charlie Baker
Support my son Arnie King by signing his petition to commute the life (without parole) sentence so that he can become eligible for parole release.
This is important because Arnie is requesting a 6th public hearing. Governor Patrick rejected a 6-0 favorable vote in 2008, and Arnie was granted another hearing in October 2010. Two months after the hearing, a police officer was killed by a lifer on parole. The governor then fired 5 parole board members and selected replacements. After that, Arnie received an unfavorable vote in March 2011, and he was denied another hearing request in March 2013. Arnie is responsible for killing a man in 1971, when he was 18 and had been drinking and drugging for several days. He has been clean for over 30 years now, obtained 3 college degrees, successfully completed more than 2 dozen weekend furloughs, participated in and created many support, rehabilitation, and education programs, and he remains very active in community service. Based on his age, the number of years he has served in prison, his level of educational achievement, and his community service while inside prison, Arnie is no longer a risk for danger to society. Over the years he has formed many significant bonds with people who are high achievers, and they support his reentry as a contributing member to society, including offers of employment and the prospects of becoming a taxpayer rather than costing the state $50,000/annually. Here are a few examples of support shown at Arnie's public hearings over the past 7 years: Charles Ogletree (Professor, Harvard Law), I have never seen anyone transform their life the way he has in the more than 40 years of service in prison. Gloria Fox (State Representative), I believe he is a changed man … and we support this commutation. Mel King (Professor Emeritus/MIT), What we need to see in this world is epitomized by Arnie and his change and behavior… Jill Soffiyah Elijah (Attorney), How many youth counselors have I met regularly, who have been impacted by Mr. King! Reverend William Dickerson (Greater Love Tabernacle), Arnie King is not the average inmate. He doesn’t play games. He is sincere. Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond (Bethel AME), I appreciate that he inspires young people to make the right choices and not simply scare them. We really need the voice and presence of Arnie King. Eva Clark (Executive Director, Judge Banks Community Justice Program), Nothing short of catastrophic illness would prevent me from being here today to support Arnie King. Lyn Levy (Executive Director, SPAN, Inc.), I met Arnie in 1976 and I will be one of the people holding his hand. Our agency will help him also. Dr. Fran Roznowski (Community Psychologist), I have known Arnie since 1979, and I will be joining many others to have his back. Robin Casarjian (Executive Director, Lion Heart Foundation), For 15 years, he showed up with a sense of purpose and encouraged other prisoners to participate in group activities. Bob David (Side By Side Community Circle), Of the large numbers of disciplinary reports, some may be questionable, while other were earned. Paul Marcus (Executive Director, Community Change Inc.), What Arnie’s life means to me is the power of transformation, and society needs to see this example. Abrigal Forrester (Street Safe Boston), I’m here as a product of Arnie King. Hope – Lifeline – Redemption. He engaged the ignorance within me and told me I had value. Peter McGuane (Student, Truck Driver), I was in for involuntary manslaughter, and he got me active with Prison Voices, which I continued upon release. I’m honored to be here for Arnie. Paule Verdet (Professor Emeritus/BU), It’s a way of life for Arnie. He is a superb model. Becky Thompson (Professor/Simmons College), Recognizing Mr. King as a man worthy of commutation, no one benefits if the policy exists theoretically but is never granted. Felix Arroyo, Sr. (former Boston City Councillor), The first time I met Mr. King, I was with his brother. I wondered about him and found a calm person, at peace with himself. We have a recourse… ‘cause I know it will help our community. Nancy Murray (ACLU), Why is the community present? We are interested in redemption… He couldn’t bring back the life, but he would do what he could to try to prevent others from going down that path. George Lee (Community Organizer), I heard a lot about him. He wasn’t about tooting his own horn. He was present for young folks and the other men. Seth Kirshenbaum (Director, The City School), Having Arnie with us in the community will help save young lives, and we have a job or volunteer opportunity for him. Banjineh Brown (Boston School Teacher), He works with prevention. The “Arnie” factor is about redemption, and we use him as a case study. He is an entrepreneur activist. Jason Lydon (Minister), Through Barbed Wire has been quite active at the Community Church of Boston. Aaron Tanaka (Boston Workers Alliance), I hope you will see his deep commitment to change and rehabilitation. Dianne Zimbabwe (Community Artist/Educator), My involvement with Through Barbed Wire allows me to witness the positive impact of Arnie’s community endeavors. Myriam Ortiz (Executive Director, Boston Parents Organizing Network), Arnie King has been an asset to us and students benefit from his example. Daniel King (Brother), I was a 16 year old teenager in 1971. We have prayed for the family of John Labanara for comfort and peace, and we hope for their forgiveness. Marva King (Sister), It matters that we heal together. Eddie Berkin (Attorney), People are much more friends than supporters. Because they are friends, they are also supporters. Margaret Burnham (Attorney), Your legal obligation is to review and decide whether this man has made exceptional strides in development. Walt Silva, Ed D (Professor Emeritus/BU), Arnie is the classic example of prison injustice gone way over the top. He's jumped through every hoop, made every effort to contribute to the community from behind bars more than anyone else that I have known in my 25 years involved in prison higher education, and remains in prison at a cost of what - $60,000 + a year when he could be out contributing and paying taxes with zero threat to anyone? I have written to Governor Patrick more than once, concerning parole in general and Arnie specifically. If Arnie King doesn't qualify for commutation, then who does? It sends a sad message back to the prison population. If Arnie doesn't get a consideration, what's the sense of trying? But I'm sure Arnie doesn't feel that way, and will continue to keep contributing from behind bars. Imagine what he could do if he were out. He's paid his dues several times over. Arnie is the 3rd of 9 children through which many grandchildren and great grandchildren are a major part of this family circle. I complete 82 years of living this month, full of tremendous joys and blessings. However, this journey will be incomplete until I’m able to welcome Arnie’s return to the world community. My son has been inside Massachusetts prisons for the 1971 murder of another human being. He was 18, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, in Boston, and responsible for the death of this young man. Our entire family-and-friends network was devastated, as well as that of the Labanara family. After Arnie was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, without parole, I traveled to Massachusetts with his younger brothers and sisters to visit him in the maximum security prison. I told him that “God would not forsake him and neither would our family-and-friends community”. Arnie has grown, matured, and progressed during this lengthy period of imprisonment. He obtained 3 college degrees, created major rehabilitative programs within the prison and offered services to communities beyond the walls. He has been encouraged by many people, while inspiring the success of others. By examining the volumes of documents, transcripts, and opinions, it will become clear - the need to support the eventual release of my son. God Bless and One Love! Please sign the petition and encourage your family members and friends to support this effort. - Mary King
Petition to Michael Caldwell, President of the United States, Georgia State Senate, Georgia State House, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Patty Bentley, Karen Bennett, Paul Battles, Charles Gregory, Georgia Governor
End For-Profit Private Probation of Misdemeanor Cases in the United States
Court systems without revenue stream incentives, are less likely to criminalize our youth! Georgia, and other state, House and Senate Members have allowed too much authority to the privately held FOR- PROFIT probation companies, who are utilized to collect fines, and, quite frankly, look for reasons to collect more fines and make more money for corporate gain - for MISDEMEANOR citations. This is criminalizing our youth into a never ending system that gives unethical incarceration for non-violent crimes! The United States Supreme Court in Bearden v. Georgia, 461 U.S. 660 (1983),made it clear that courts cannot imprison an indigent person for failure to pay a criminal fine unless the failure to pay was “willful.” Too often, however, this constitutional rule is ignored. Courts across the South routinely impose substantial costs on already poor people who are struggling to get by, then incarcerate them for being too poor to pay. Incarcerating Indigent Misdemeanants The Municipal Court in Gulfport, Mississippi was one such court. In an effort to crack down on people who owed misdemeanor fines, the City of Gulfport employed a fine collection task force. The task force trolled through predominately African-American neighborhoods, rounding up people who had outstanding court fines. After arresting and jailing them, the City of Gulfport processed these people through a court proceeding at which no defense attorney was present or even offered. Many people were jailed for months after hearings lasting just seconds. While the City collected money, it also packed the jail with hundreds of people who couldn’t pay, including people who were sick, physically disabled, and/or limited by mental disabilities. SCHR filed suit to stop these illegal practices. For a copy of the Complaint, click here. For related news coverage, click here. ACLU Report: 2010 report, 'In For a Penny: The Rise of America's New Debtors' Prisons.' "Courts are breaking the law by holding defendants in contempt of court for failing to pay fines without proper notice or allowing an attorney to be present, the report said. Courts are also issuing arrests warrants for people who fail to show up and pay their fines and jailing defendants who are too poor to pay, according to the report.