Topic

criminal justice reform

250 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Jay A. York, Cam Ward, Kay Ivey, Steve Marshall

Help Free a Good & Innocent Man - Wrongfully Incarcerated by Mobile County Court & DA

Ten years ago, Leonard Coleman received a life sentence in Mobile, Alabama for a crime another man confessed to committing. Together, I believe we are ready to start asking the hard questions and put our Judges and District Attorneys on trial. How does a hardworking, family-oriented, single father, with no prior convictions, end up being found guilty for a crime with which he had no involvement? In fact, Leonard’s next-door neighbor testified in court to speaking with him for hours during the time the crime took place. Leonard was such a non-threat to society that, prior to being wrongfully convicted, he was issued a TWIC card by the TSA, which requires passing a national background check. Mobile County's inadequate initial investigation process failed Leonard Coleman, mostly because bias existed from the beginning. One of the detectives who interrogated Leonard used to date the victim. Perhaps, because of this, Leonard was the only suspect ever pursued and a false case was purposefully built solely around him, although there were no fingerprint, nor ballistics matches to warrant being held for the crime. The Court's own response to Leonard's appeal highlights this atrocity by saying, "McSpadden testified that he tested all of the Petitioner's firearms and he was unable to identify any of them as the weapon that killed the victim." The truth is that no one witnessed the event, other than a vulnerable and innocent 4-year-old child, who suffered a speech and developmental disability called echolalia. The condition had been diagnosed by a speech pathologist - a graduate of the University of Alabama. Trial transcripts of her testimony have her on record saying that the child demonstrated red flags for autism. Because he would often parrot what others said, authorities coached him into giving a false statement against Leonard. Testimonies from his family at trial revealed that he could not yet dial phone numbers by himself, but that it sounded like someone took the phone from him and hung it up during the crime window. The Mobile County District Attorney, Ashley Rich, likely knew the child's statements were unreliable, as she covered herself by presenting a motion to declare the witness unavailable. The trial transcript reads, according to DA Ashley Rich, "we attempted to solicit testimony from him at the grand jury but were unable to lay the proper predicate as to whether or not he understood the difference between right and wrong due to his young tender years." Even more alarming is that, towards the end of Leonard's trial, the presiding Judge stated, "I was trying to be a good judge so there wouldn't be errors on appeal and I know several other things just like that and I'm going to zip up my lip." In October of 2020, Leonard’s uncle came across two gentlemen in a barber shop, I believe by divine intervention. These men, close friends of the true offender, were saddened to learn that Leonard was wrongfully incarcerated, because they both knew who actually committed the crime in question. On October 26, 2020, they put their official testimonies on file, with M and M Investigations, stating in detail how, shortly before taking his own life, the perpetrator confessed to them how he was able to execute the crime and subsequently use the child to frame Leonard. A few months later, a third witness came forward to corroborate their stores – recalling how she heard the perpetrator threaten the victim, "B****, I am going to make sure you die too." This evidence was filed with the Mobile County Circuit Court, under District Attorney Ashley Rich, on April 20, 2021. Yet, regrettably, the Assistant DA filed a motion on 8/10/2021 to have my husband’s evidence dismissed as hearsay.  The dark side of our system is that Leonard, an African American man, was found guilty in a Southern State, by a White Judge, White District Attorney, and an all-White (11/12) jury. If we think about it, he never stood a chance. Not to mention, Leonard’s case is not the only wrongful conviction specifically associated with Mobile, Alabama. Internet research shows that Bryan Douglas Cannon, Raymond Shane Greene, Dennis Morgan Hicks, Scott Jones, and Rodney Stanberry are also claiming false convictions by the Mobile County Circuit Court, or District Attorney Ashley Rich. My 16-year-old son recently reflected that we all have only one life to live and expressed his feelings about the unfairness of my husband losing so many years of his life. It’s time we unite to give Leonard his chance at freedom and at being reunited with his wife, children, and family. It also goes without saying that the victim’s family members, especially her son, deserve to live the rest of their lives knowing the truth. They have suffered more than their share of loss, as well. We are grateful for every signature and ask that you stand in solidarity with us by sharing this petition with as many people as you can. Continue on the journey with us by following us @JusticeforLeonardColeman on Instagram. Additionally, if my husband's story has touched your heart, please consider reaching out to the Governor of Alabama at https://contact.governor.alabama.gov/contact.aspx and the Mobile County DA’s Office in regards to this clear human rights violation. Mobile County District Attorney: (251) 574-8400 District Attorney Ashley Rich: (251) 574-5000 Assistant DA Chris McDonough: (251) 574-3404 Presiding Judge: Jay A. York Podcasts: The Law And Justice Podcast - Justice For Leonard Coleman https://youtu.be/3NdBYxHjsdA

Mrs S Coleman
16,205 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to

Enforce DWI Laws and Provide Treatment for Offenders in New Mexico

DWI's are all too common in New Mexico and continues to be a huge public safety issue. As of October 2021, New Mexico ranks #6 in the U.S. for the most fatality rates and arrests due to drinking and driving. In 2019, there were 107 alcohol-related vehicle accidents in New Mexico, with 152 people tragically losing their life. The first DWI offense in New Mexico is considered a misdemeanor, and the penalties are often extremely lenient. Depending on the severity, the law states that the offender may have their driver's license revoked for a period of 90 days, pay small court fines/restitution, or complete community service. In the event that there are higher BAC levels, the offender will have to comply with the above and potentially have an interlock in their car for around six months once their license is renewed. Nearly 75 percent of first time DWI offenders continue driving after they are convicted, so it is evident that a suspended driver's license does very little to actually stop offenders from continuing to drive under the influence. A second DWI offense is also a misdemeanor, and includes the same punishments as a first time conviction. The only difference is that drug/alcohol classes and treatment are added to their sentence. For a second offense specifically, reoffenders face probation up to 5 years in lieu of jail time, however, rarely receive either consequence to the fullest extent. The laws are put into place for a reason, so why aren’t they being enforced? Clearly these punishments are not severe enough for many offenders because the recidivism rate is about 50 percent! A DWI does not become a felony until the fourth offense, which is completely illogical...if someone has four DWI's and is not receiving appropriate consequences, there is something wrong with New Mexico state laws. Even with multiple offenses, the courts usually give the MINIMUM sentence. Harsher punishments need to be imposed for people who senselessly get behind the wheel and risk everyone's life around them without a second thought. Admittedly, there are people who make mistakes and need treatment. Rehabilitation is extremely important and a necessity in certain cases with reoffenders and should be mandatory once sentenced. Offenders can and should be provided with proper resources to attend treatment, all while being held legally responsible for their actions. The outcome will be propitious if the offender faces the consequences of their actions AND receives the treatment they need! One way of accomplishing this is to impose stricter conditions of release for pre-trial offenders. Instead of only telling them they cannot possess a handgun, drink or drive, or leave the county, the criminal justice system should have an offender be placed on a GPS device, submit weekly drug tests, and attend weekly drug and alcohol treatment. Each of these has costs associated with them, so it would generate a lot of income to the New Mexico economy. This would help fund more treatment services and allow offenders to receive the treatment they need and deserve.  By signing this petition, you are helping save the lives of loved ones, yourself, and others in your community. If we do not take the steps to make changes that are so desperately needed, innocent people will continue to lose their lives, and people will continue to reoffend without getting the help they may need. Please do your part...let's hold our state officials and DWI offenders accountable. Aside from signing the petition, I encourage you to call or email your representatives to let them know we are not giving up until changes are made! Their contact information is below. Mayor Tim Keller Phone: (505) 768-3000       Email: mayorkeller@cabq.gov   Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham  Phone: (505) 476-2200        Contact: https://www.governor.state.nm.us/contact-the-governor/   Senator Joseph Cervantes  Phone: (575) 523-9334    Email: joseph.cervantes@nmlegis.gov   Senator Ben Ray Lujan Phone: (202) 224-6621        Email: info@benraylujan.com   Representative Yvette Herrell  Phone: (202) 225-2365   Representative Teresa Legel Fernandez  Phone: (202) 225-6190   Melanie Stansbury  Phone: (202) 225-6316   Senator Martin Heinrich  Phone: (202) 224-5521   Helpful Links 1) Leniency of consequences for multiple DWI offenses in New Mexico:  https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/repeat-dwi-offender-owens-gets-5-months-in-jail/article_5de5f936-9294-5aad-9a92-a385feceeb39.html 2) Effects of drinking and driving: https://www.newmethodwellness.com/effects-of-drunk-driving-accidents/ 3) Rehabilitation Information for Addicts:  https://www.addicted.org/new-mexico-long-term-drug-rehab.html  

Jackie C
277 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Georgia Governor, Georgia State House, Georgia State Senate, GEORGIA STATE BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES

Second Chance for GA JUVENILE LIFERS

Giving a second chance to adults that committed crimes as Juveniles ages 16 and under. That have been incarcerated for 20 - 30+ years. After decades in prison aging out of criminal behavior, have become rehabilitated, and proven themselves to have earned a chance at freedom. No one should be defined for the rest of their lives by their worst mistake. Science has proven that children lack the maturity to comprehend consequences. Have impulsive behavior. And are peer pressured into doing things that later in life they regret. The United States Supreme Court ruled that it is a Constitutional violation of the 8th Amendment cruel and unusual punishment. To sentence a child to die in prison. See Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida, Miller v. Alabama, Montgomery v. Louisiana. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in 2016 Montgomery v. Louisiana opinion " their hope for some years of life outside prison walls must be restored." Morally an act of mercy and forgiveness is giving them a second chance to become productive citizens in society. Contributing to their communities. Returning to their families. Not discarded, and imprisoned for the rest of their lives.  The early 1990's "Superpredator" theory of John J. DiIulio Jr. which targeted young black teens as heartless and ruthless. Has had consequences lasting decades. He now retracts and admits that he was wrong. But the now adults who were victims of his fictional theory are still affected and are languishing in prisons thru out the nation.  Possibly the Juvenile Lifers in GA prison system could be identified by the GA Parole Board and given a separate consideration from their adult counterparts. Georgia Senate Democrat Candidate Raphael Warnock says " Somebody's got to open up the jails and let our children go." Please visit the link https://youtu.be/6X5lYvvgKf4  to see the now adults who were juveniles and sentenced to LIFE in prison. You can find each individual by going to the Georgia Department of Corrections Offender Query website for additional information.

Faith & Hope
4,837 supporters
Started 1 week ago

Petition to Ann Wagner

Holding prosecutors accountable when they become corrupt

In our current legal system when a prosecutor becomes corrupt to advances career there are no repercussions for a prosecutor railroading a man knowing he is innocent withholding exculpatory evidence change in jury instructions and the like. Unfortunately prosecutors are judged by their conviction rate the more convictions the better they are viewed as being Andrew Wiseman who is now a federal prosecutor is a famous example of this as was written about by Sidney Powell in her book called license to lie Andrew Wiseman did not present exculpatory evidence he changed jury instructions and combine two federal laws to make a law up a man who owned a financial investment firm was financially ruined was sent to prison and 85,000 people lost their jobs the appeals went all the way up to the supreme Court where the supreme Court unanimously ruled that the case was a travesty of Justice what was Andrew wiseman's punishment for this he was promoted to a more powerful position. In Illinois the governor commuted all death row inmates sentenced to life because so many death row inmates were found to be innocent with DNA evidence. And recently the Kyle Rittenhouse trial shows what a corrupt prosecutor can do in this prosecutor will suffer no consequences. What if it was your loved one who was being falsely in prison it seems nowadays that unless something affects us we do not care. Any American citizen can find themselves in the legal system or let's say you have a prosecutor that don't like you he can falsely in prison you and will not be held accountable at all for doing so. This petition is to get Congress to write legislation holding corrupt prosecutors accountable where they will be punished with jail time or bard and not able to practice law anymore. We have a wonderful legal system if it is free of corruption. Prosecutors need to quit being judged by their conviction rate and they need to be held accountable when they fall slam prison people intentionally.

Mark Voelkerding
24 supporters