criminal justice reform

113 petitions

This petition won 1 day ago

Petition to CALIFORNIA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Michael Moore, Steve Soboroff, Gavin Newsom, Kamala D. Harris, Jackie Lacey

Free Nipsey Hussle Shooting Victim and Dismiss his Parole Violation

After just being released from a 20 year stint in prison, 56 year old Kerry Lathan was in Marathon Clothing Store being offered clothes by the store owner and rapper/community leader Nipsey Hussle as a welcome home gift to freshen his wardrobe prior to reconnecting with family and loved ones. Unfortunately moments later, he would be wounded during the shooting that killed Crenshaw's beloved Nipsey Hussle. After being treated at the hospital and released for his injuries, Mr. Lathan was arrested and taken into custody for violating his parole. One of the conditions of his parole was to avoid fraternizing with known gang members, and Nipsey was affiliated with Rollin' 60's Crips.Given the many barriers that individuals recently released from incarceration face upon reentering society, we should not be punishing those who are returning home to their communities with little choices left but to associate with friends and loved ones that welcome them with open arms. Regardless of affiliations, Mr. Lathan did not commit any crimes by being in the Marathon Clothing Store. And we should not equate Nipsey Hussle with just being a gang member -- as he was a philanthropist and beacon in Crenshaw that sought to bring positive change to his community and the people living in it. Kerry Lathan was merely in company of the same person that the Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore and Commissioner Steve Soboroff had agreed to meet with to find solutions for gang violence and LA youth. The day Nipsey was murdered, the Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff tweeted "I’m so very sad." But there can be no sadness surrounding the death of Nipsey, while also violating a person because Nipsey was trying to help. Kerry Lathan's parole violation should be dismissed immediately, and the California Department of Corrections -- along with the LAPD and Governor Gavin Newsom -- should continue to work with community leaders to find solutions for gang violence and also reassess how and why we violate our returning citizens during parole. We must end perpetual punishment now! This is what Neighborhood Nip would want.My name is Derick Bowers, and I am a senior leader at a national non-profit organization that provides holistic employment services for individuals returning from incarceration.

Derick Bowers
1,088 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Andrew M. Cuomo

Stop the torture of Amin Booker! Release him from Solitary confinement!

NYS DOCCS abuses their authority when it comes to solitary confinement. Amin Booker was placed in Solitary Confinement on April 22, 2015 by Superintendent Thomas Griffin. This was done in retaliation to him speaking up for inmate rights. Amin was engaged in productive programs at Greenhaven Correctional Facility. He was elected inmate liaison secretary. He was also a facilitator of the Empowering The Youth Program. In March 2015 the Inmate Liaison Committee filed two grievances regarding correctional staff corruption under the supervision of Superintendent Thomas Griffin. On April 9, 2015 Amin was fired from the ILC and threatened to be placed in solitary confinement because he filed the grievances. On April 22, 2015 Amin was abducted from a family visit, put in a van and wisked away to Elmira Correctional Facility SHU.  On April 24, 2015 DOCCS staff issued a vague report alleging that while at Greenhaven, Amin had an inmate disseminate a letter to the population for a call to solidarity. The report does not identify a name of a person alleged nor a date,  time or location of the allegation. During the disciplinary hearing the DOCCS staff testified " that they do not know any details pertaining to the allegations".  Despite such they have kept Amin in Punitive Confinement. He is mentally and physically deteriorating. Lets end this inhumane treatment. We do not want a repeat of Kalief Browder. Lets stop DOCCS from placing inmates in Solitary Confinement unjustly and leaving them there indefinitely as a form of retaliation. We are seeking relief for Amin. We ask that he be released from SHU and that DOCCS is held accountable. Someone has to oversee DOCCS and intervene so that this type of cruel and inhumane treatment does not continue.  We want Amin Booker released from solitary confinement immediately and placed in general population, not only is he suffering but his loved ones are greatly impacted by him being in solitary confinement. Let's put an end to NYS DOCCS abusing their authority!

Latasha Ripley
3,106 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Jennifer Crown

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
322 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump

President Trump: Commute the Prison Sentence of Former Rapper "Loon"

Former Bad Boy Records recording artist "Loon" is serving an unjust sentence in federal prison for a very minor role in a non-violent drug offense. Mr. President, please grant him a presidential commutation of sentence. Chauncey Hawkins, professionally known as Loon, was a multi-Platinum-selling recording artist signed to Bad Boy Records. He is most known for his hit songs with P. Diddy "I Need A Girl Part 1" featuring Usher and "I Need A Girl Part 2" featuring Ginuwine.  In 2008, Loon left the music industry to pursue a better, positive life after reverting to Islam and was traveling the world as a motivational speaker. He now goes by Amir Junaid Muhadith. However, while he was still in the music industry he made an introduction for someone who was involved with drugs and he got snared in a federal drug conspiracy case. He pleaded guilty for this minor role and agreed to a 14-year sentence to avoid the “trial tax” he would receive if he rejected the government's plea offer, which included very lengthy mandatory minimum enhancement penalties that would flow from a conviction after trial. Prisons should be reserved for those who really need to be there.  At the White House Prison Reform Summit, which I had the privilege of attending, you expressed concern for long sentences and stressed the importance of second chances for low-risk offenders. In commuting the prison sentence of Alice Johnson, you stated that “those who have paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance.” Amir has done both. And while thousands of offenders will be released or see their sentences shortened as a result of the First Step Act, the new law does not benefit Amir. He has already served 7 years of his sentence. This should be enough. Mr. President - like Alice Johnson - Amir is deserving of your mercy and will be a better asset to the community as a free man where he intends to serve his community through the development of effective re-entry programs. Please commute the remainder of his sentence without delay, so Amir can return home to his family and community, where he can use his talents to benefit others rather than simply being warehoused. Sincerely, Weldon Angelos

Weldon Angelos
7,628 supporters