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Criminal Justice

1,125 petitions

Started 2 hours ago

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.

Brittany Pernell
12 supporters
Update posted 4 hours ago

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.

Phyllis Bell
586 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

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

Mary King
447 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

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.  

Terri FA
83 supporters