Topic

criminal justice reform

142 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Ron DeSantis, Florida Executive Clemency Board

Free Michael NOW!!!

  My father in law, Michael B. Edwards is a good man who made some bad decisions when he was young. He lost his father at 9 years old in a tragic accident, was forced to become the man of the house at such a young age, his family uprooted and moved from their home in Georgia to Florida where Michael found a way to numb and suppress his pain, and that was by using drugs.  Michael was a cocaine addict throughout his teenage years that carried into his twenties and he made a lot of mistakes. Mistakes that would carry way less weight if they were made in current day, 2019 instead of 1993.  Instead of being treated, Michael was handed practically a life sentence for a series of non-violent drug offenses. Instead of them having compassion and seeing someone obviously suffering from an addiction, the judge said to Michael "You need to be separated away from society for as long as possible." And they did just that. (That same judge that said those words to Michael was then later arrested in a prostitution sting in 2018.) My father in law has been sitting in a prison cell for twenty six years. He has been clean for 22 of those years, has found God, and reads books often to stay current on technology and marketing.  The system failed Michael at 9 years old, at 18, and all throughout and we are begging you to help us push for clemency. Drug addicts are being treated worse than rapists, murderers and pedophiles over a health issue that should be treated as a health issue-not a crime.  Sign this petition to be a part of the movement to change the mental health narrative and help shift the conversation to where it should be on addiction and the drug war.    **Please keep in mind when you pay money to promote this petition, your money goes entirely to Change.org and not to Michael or his family. The purpose of this feature is to open up this petition to more eyes.**

Erin Hoensch
5,937 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Kelly Thomasson, Jennifer Crown, Justin Fairfax

U.S. military veteran with mental health history seeking 2nd chance at freedom.

I'm posting this petition for my son, MarQui Clardy, Sr. I’ll start with some background information on MarQui's character and the circumstances that led to his present situation. MarQui is a 33 year old father of four. On September 24, 2001, two weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he joined the United States Navy. He served as an Information Systems Technician while also attending ECPI University and serving as a Ship's Self-Defense Force (SSDF) team leader where he received intensive weapons, combat, and antiterrorism training. He was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2003 for Operation Iraq Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Two weeks prior to being discharged in 2005, MarQui was referred to a psychiatrist (due to some behavioral deviations, hallucinations, and a suicidal preoccupation) where he was diagnosed with "Adjustment Disorder." The psychiatrist noted that MarQui had a "major impairment in [his] thinking and judgement, manifested by inflexible thinking." Despite this clinical assessment, MarQui wasn't given any treatment, counseling, medications, or even a follow-up appointment, nor was he made aware of the diagnosis. He was simply released from service and left to transition back into civilian life on his own. In 2006, MarQui enrolled at Old Dominion University to study computer science. This is where his financial troubles began. After his car was totaled in a flash flood, he lost his job due to a lack of transportation. He was able to find a succession of other lower paying jobs, but lost each of them for the same reason. As a result, he defaulted on his tuition payments, so his school registration was placed on hold. He also defaulted on his rent, and was notified by his landlord that he was being evicted from his apartment. Being jobless, carless, moneyless, facing imminent homelessness (without even the ability to improve his circumstances by finishing his college degree), and not able to financially support himself or his children caused an unfathomable amount of stress that likely triggered MarQui's Adjustment Disorder, and he made the ill decision to commit three robberies to get some money. In 2008, he was arrested and tried in court. Since the military had never notified MarQui of his mental health diagnosis, this information was never presented for the judge's consideration (even though MarQui's condition undoubtedly played a MAJOR factor in his decision to aberrantly break the law). MarQui was convicted on all charges; although he has a good background, NO prior criminal history, and absolutely NO physical violence had occurred in either offense, the judge sentenced him to 33 years in prison. MarQui just learned about his mental health diagnosis in 2014, six years AFTER being incarcerated. He has taken full responsibility for his actions, however, we must also recognize the military's role in discharging him back into society while neglecting to treat the mental health condition with which THEY diagnosed him! There's no limit to the behavioral effects that "impaired thinking and judgement" can have on those afflicted, especially if it's left untreated. Even the Department of Defense acknowledges that untreated mental health conditions among veterans pose a greater safety threat than those which are being treated. In MarQui's case, his impairment went untreated for THREE ENTIRE YEARS, leading up to him making the poor decision to break the law. His background shows that he clearly was not a criminally-inclined person. Had the military treated his condition before discharging him, or even afterward at one of the V.A. medical centers, it’s very likely that MarQui would have exercised better judgement and not commited those robberies. Because of the post-conviction discovery of MarQui's mental health diagnosis, as well as the positive strides he's made throughout his incarceration- which include earning college credits by completing classes at Washington and Lee University, completing classes through Emmaus Correspondence School and Life's Key Ministries, enrolling in all of the requisite DOC rehabilitative programs, remaining free of institutional infractions, maintaining employment as a GED tutor (among other jobs), remaining an active member of "incarcerated veterans" groups throughout DOC, being consistently rated as a "very low risk of recidivism" by DOC's COMPAS assessment, writing two novels (one of which has been published), several articles for Hamilton College, The Marshall Project, and Cell Door Magazine, and a social justice / criminal justice book he's currently working on - Redemptive Life Foundation has filed a clemency petition on his behalf, asking Governor Northam to commute his prison sentence and allow him to be released. MarQui has gained ample support from family, friends, former coworkers, college coeds and class instructors, military veterans organizations, and religious groups. But we're seeking even more support to ensure that he gets the chance he has worked hard for. After ten years in prison, JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED! MarQui broke the law, however, given the fact that he was suffering from an unknown (by him) and untreated mental illness, his harsh 33 year sentence is unfair and unjust. It is also a slap in the face to all those who have served our country's military that were left physically and/or mentally impaired. He has also shown throughout his incarceration what type of person he truly is, and why he should be granted a second chance at his freedom. Please sign this petition to help us get him that chance. Thank you!

Dianna Clardy
392 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Maryland State House, U.S. House of Representatives

Declare State clemency- Mandatory Minimum 20 year sentence for Marijuana.

      Harold Morris (Junior) has been convicted and sentenced to 40 years in Maryland state prison for selling marijuana. He will serve the mandatory minimum of 20 years (no parole) before he is released (after classification he was told he’ll do 17 years exactly, his release year is 2036). He has been accused of being a Kingpin. Kingpins are dangerous leaders of a drug operation (such as El Chapo).     His case is extremely rare because anyone who has been accused of Kingpin is usually charged federally. This charge always comes with transporting/trafficking (Which he was found NOT GUILTY of), lots of co-inspirers (the drug ring), and lots of money. He did NOT have ANY OF THAT.      Federal authorities chose not to charge him as a Kingpin simply because he did not do any of the standards that accompany being accused as a "Kingpin”. So the state decided to keep the kingpin charge against him. There were no character witnesses, confidential informants, undercover police, or anyone who was apart of this “drug operation” to identify him as the leader of a “drug ring”. Not a single person was arrested related to his case other than his girlfriend. There were no weapons or serious drugs considering he’s a dangerous kingpin. All of his charges are non violent, all charges are for marijuana. There was literally no evidence making him this. He has certainly been over charged.      Junior doesn’t deserve (nor does anyone) to spend the rest of his young life in prison for a non violent crime. For something that he was convicted of based on “assumptions”. When this trial started two years ago, he completely turned his life around. He knew he couldn’t change what had happened, but he did his absolute best to change the things in his life that could be changed.      Junior is an outstanding father of four children, who he has full custody of.  He and his children served God in their church faithfully every Sunday, where they have been saved and baptized. He became a leader of his church and has inspired and gave hope to so many people. Every Sunday he would pray loudly, thanking god and praying for everyone, instead of himself.      He has spent the last two years doing so much for his church and his community. He was coaching youth baseball for his youngest sons team, preaching to his church on Sunday’s and helping the Ellicott city community recover from the devastating floods. Any extra time he has was spent with his children. He couldn’t wait to get home and have fun with them. Junior has also been employed as a journeyman for over 10 years (and supervisor) at an HVAC company where he is known to be the best employee. He used his skills to repair the broken air conditioning system in the church. He would do this every night after working his regular job. Sometimes he wouldn’t get home until midnight or later. He did all this free of charge. He did all this because that’s who he is. He is a selfless, kind and inspirational person and father. He has been focused on being the best person he can be, the person he truly is.     We were all so sure that god would save him from this nightmare that he’s living right now. But now we’re so confused and unsure of why this is happening to him. There’s just nothing more he could have done for himself, everyone and God. Nearly 20 people wrote letters to the judge describing the person who he really is and all he has done to help so many. The same people who showed up to his sentencing begging, pleading and crying to the judge to have mercy. The judge was clearly remorseful and did understand that junior is a good person and had already turned things around before his conviction. But the judge explained that all he could do if suspend 20 years of the 40 and must give him the 20 mandatory minimum. That the law requires it and there’s nothing he can do to change that. Harford county made a mistake by over charging him as being a Kingpin.    He has thrived so much and trying so hard to be so good, and seeing him taken away to prison for so long. His children are completely devastated. I don’t know what I can really do here. I just hope this helps him some how. His children need him. He is not a person that belongs in prison for 20 years and so many stand by him to defend him.       We now need to take the next step and ask Governor Hogan to review his case and help in any way he can. It’s all we have left. I’m not asking the governor to just make it all go away, we just can’t sit around and let him spend decades in prison when he didn’t hurt a single person. Every signature for this petition means so much to us and Junior’s four children.          Thank you and God bless. 

Samantha Clark
1,260 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Donald J Trump, Department of Justice, Entrepreneurs

The Coalition to Nullify The Malicious Task Force Prosecutions

ANOTHER UPDATE...NEW ARTICLE ABOUT MALICIOUS TASK FORCE How the Obama FBI and Department of Justice Lost its Way and Destroyed 15,000 American Lives UPDATE...NEW ARTICLE ABOUT MALICIOUS TASK FORCE https://floridaindependent.com/obamas-legacy-a-corrupt-doj-task-force/ We, the undersigned families and friends of loved ones prosecuted and incarcerated under the Obama Administration's "Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force" declare every indictment and prosecution under that initiative "suspect." The task force was created November 17, 2009. See https://www.fincen.gov/financial-fraud-enforcement-task-force-ffetf The name sounds like something good for society, however, it is anything but. The task force unnecessarily destroyed thousands of legitimate investments and enterprises that needed only time to fully develop. The task force destroyed families and reputations. It packed prisons with innocent men, women, and local community leaders. The Obama Administration launched this task force to placate the public after the Great Recession which began in 2008. Instead of holding those who caused the Great Recession to account, the Obama Administration went after easy targets who would be unable to retain counsel capable of actually mounting a meaningful defense. We hold that most of the 15,000 prosecutions were all for "show" and were contrived miscarriages of justice. We further believe these prosecutions reveal the Obama Administration's fundamental contempt for private industry. The Obama administration then exerted the full weight of the United States government to establish an anti-small business narrative which ultimately led to the "socialism is good" nonsense permeating today's public discourse. We respectfully ask President Trump to nullify most, if not all prosecutions brought under the malicious and corrupt intent of the Obama task force. We hold these prosecutions to be fruit of the poisonous tree. It is simply impossible to believe so many law-abiding citizens decided one day after Mr. Obama became president to become criminals over their reputations and livelihoods. It simply did not happen the way the Obama Justice Department said it did. Further, we hold that if there are financial losses, those losses are the result of reckless and negligent prosecutions. But for such prosecutions, investors would likely have enjoyed a favorable outcome by now. All that was needed was a little business wisdom coupled with time. The Obama Administration caused this devastation to investors. President Trump...we respectfully ask you to nullify every indictment or commute/pardon every man and woman caught in this malicious Obama snare affecting a shocking number of innocent Americans. ***** "The common thread through it all is a cabal of narcissistic federal prosecutors who broke all the rules and rose to power...and [along with] other members of Obama's inner circle - are wreaking havoc on our Republic."  Sidney Powell, JD, author of Licensed to Lie - Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.  www.sidneypowell.com "[Sidney Powell] reveals a house of 'legal' horrors characterized by sacrificing [innocent men and women], concealing and altering evidence, ignoring the law, and constantly displaying an ego-driven desire to win at all costs." Michael Adams, PhD, introduction to Licensed to Lie. "Prison populations have skyrocketed. So has society's ills. Our prison system today is what surgery was in the mid-1800's (no anesthesia or antibiotics). Primative and harmful. The government packs inmates in jails and prisons, later sends them out to the world infected with every evil imaginable, and society contracts the disease. What is the result? More prisoners." Matthew Hutcheson, author of Quinny, chapter 33. www.quinnythebook.com "Our sentences are too long, our sentences too severe, our sentences too harsh... there is no compassion in the system." Justice Anthony Kennedy before U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, February 14, 2007. “The cost of so many good people being taken from their families far outweighs theindividual, family, social, and economic consequences of putting these people behind bars. There is a better way. We, as citizens of this great country, are obliged to try and solve this problem before taking the drastic steps of throwing these men away - who are fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, nephews, and friends - and forgetting that they exist. They can no longer be “the forgotten men and women of this country.” (President Trump, 2018)” Hutcheson, Annette, Prison Reform: The Cost of Prison for Inmates, Families, and Society (September 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3258171 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3258171

Ryan Hutcheson
354 supporters