Topic

justice

261 petitions

Update posted 5 hours ago

Petition to Eric Holcomb

Ask Indiana Governor to Grant Clemency to My Brother Kofi M. Ajabu

My brother, Kofi M. Ajabu, now forty-four years old, has been imprisoned for over 23 years for murders he did not commit. We have exhausted all legal opportunities including appeals and are at the step of asking for clemency from the Eric J. Holcomb, Governor of Indiana. Your signature below says you support clemency for Kofi M. Ajabu.   Shortly after turning 21, home in-between his sophomore and junior years of college, Kofi found himself at the scene of a gruesome crime. Thinking he and a couple of friends were going to smoke some weed, the day instead ended with three young people being murdered by one of the other co-defendants. Before trial, the prosecution offered Kofi a plea deal that would result in 20 years served. He refused to plead guilty to the murders because he had not killed anyone. He was convicted of all 10 felonies despite there being no forensic evidence to support his involvement in the murders. He was sentenced to life without parole. On appeal, the Supreme Court found that the prosecution had not proven Kofi had killed anyone, and as such, could not sentence him to life. In response, the judge did not vacate the murder conviction but instead changed the sentence to be 240 years. At this point, had Kofi taken the plea deal, he would have served the entire required time. Instead, because he would not confess to a crime he did not commit, he is faced with spending the rest of his life in prison - a punishment for exercising his right to a fair trial and for refusing to admit to murders he did not commit.  He has made the best of his time in prison, becoming masterful at meditation, yoga and energy-balancing practices, developing conversational skill in five languages including Spanish, Twi, Putongua, Vietnamese and French, and earning his Bacheor’s degree in General Studies from Ball State University.  Advocating for justice for my brother has become a two decade fight for our family -- one that in which we are now asking for your help with. Because clemency is a political decision, we need the Governor to know that there is support in the community for him to show forgiveness, mercy, and justice by granting Kofi clemency. Thank you in advance for your support,-Nzinga A. Harrison, M.D. on behalf of my brother Kofi and the rest of our family and friends  

Nzinga Harrison
951 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to The Ohio State House

I was given an $80 "Award" for being raped.

My name is Rilla Perkins On the morning of June, 14th 2015 I was raped at Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio. It’s one of the most popular parks in the city and one of the oldest parks in the U.S. The park is surrounded by the Arena District and also by Victorian Village which contains a cluster of homes.  I woke up right at the entrance of Goodale Park. Not knowing how I got there, covered in dirt from head to toe, with my pants and underwear down to my ankles, bra half way off, and in the worst pain of my life. It hurt to even move. I went into complete shock and ran to my friend’s house who I had remembered only lived a few blocks away with tears just streaming down my face.  I was taken to the hospital and put into a big cold room where I had to sit and wait for a detective and the police to come and scold me with questions. I’ll never forget how flat lined and unsympathetic the detective was. After the questioning I was asked to go into another room with two other women where I was stripped completely naked. I was probed multiple times, I was given shots to prevent pregnancy and any diseases, pills, a camera pointed at literally every inch of my body, legs spread and all. They kept all of my clothes including the only bra I had owned at that time and replaced them with a t-shirt, a sports bra and sweats. I walked back to my room with my head down, feeling empty inside. Still covered in dirt, leaving trails of mulch behind me.  After that I was given a giant packet of paper work that included helpful resources for victims, such as myself. And the detective said he would be in touch and gave me his business card. I then tracked dirt all in my friend’s car on the way home.. I was never asked if I wanted to take a shower at Grant hospital.  I ended up filling out some of that paper work (not really knowing what I was filling out). All while I was waiting to hear from the detective. Two months pass by and still nothing. He never answered my phone calls, nor responded to my voicemails. It took me reaching out to a local news channel to get help. They were able to get in contact with a public information officer who said “the investigation is open, we are looking into it.” During that two month period, I had lost my part-time job which was the job I was working the morning of the attack. I was told I would have to go back to those same bars just a few days later.. so I quit. Because I was fighting depression with no medical insurance, I lost my full-time job and then even the car that I was leasing had gotten repoed. I fell apart. I was extremely depressed and it just felt as if the universe was against me.  Three months pass by and my detective finally gives me a call and says:  "I’m sorry to tell you but we found DNA on your underwear however his DNA is not in the system. So your case will stay inactive." It was literally a 2 minute phone call. I still do not know who raped me... But after the detective decided to finally call me, I had realized that I needed to pick myself back up from the dirt that I was left in, that day on June 14th. Because no one else was going to do it for me. I knew I had to get through my own storm to see the sun again. 2 years later...  On February 25th 2017 I get a packet in the mail from the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine giving me an "Award" for $80.00. My jaw dropped. My heart sank to the very pit of my stomach as it was racing with anger. I felt like I was just hit by a moving car.  In that packet the word “award” was used 17 different times. The word “award” is defined TO ME as - A prize or other mark of recognition given in honor of an achievement. All I could hear was “here’s an award for being raped two years ago.” We all have different reactions to certain words. And this is degrading. It is upsetting. It is hurtful. It is disturbing. It is triggering. It is all of the above. I refuse to accept an “$80.00 rape award.”  This packet does not allow victims to believe there's an opportunity for justice. It lacks compassion. It lacks support. 30% of sexual assault victims do not report the crime to local law enforcement. From the intense questioning with harsh language to the lack of communication, the criminal justice system enables rape culture. After reading the letter, I realized had I not received counseling to utilize coping skills, this would have been catastrophic. As such, I propose to remove the word “award” from any letter addressing sexual and physical assault. In doing so, this would increase the reporting percentage, build confidence in the criminal justice system, and help victims move on. The Ohio Attorney General's Office said "it's how it's been written." According to Channel 10TV News in which my interview about this aired on 3/20/2017. In a statement to 10TV, AGO Spokesman Dan Tierney says: "While we find it regrettable that the claimant interpreted the language as celebratory, it is the statutorily required language that we must use and cannot change. The Ohio General Assembly has the authority to change the terms used in statute." Just for a word change.... It’s now been 3 years.  Please share this story. We need as many signatures as we can get. The goal will keep rising. Let's make a difference together & instead;  Give survivors a **Compensation letter**. Give us hope.  The unfortunate truth is that we settle for what we feel like we deserve. And as a survivor, I did not deserve the word choice in this letter. I don’t think anyone does. I just want to make a difference, even if it’s a small one, for someone else.  Please help me at least do that.     

Rilla Perkins
1,499 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State House, New York State Senate, Sue Serino, Didi Barrett, Carl Heastie, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Aileen Gunther, Angelo Santabarbara, Latoya Joyner, James Skoufis, Charles E. Schumer, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, John F. Kennedy, John Lewis, Paul Tonko

Bailey’s Law now! Hold criminals accountable for victimizing the developmentally disabled!

 Please Support the Passage of #BaileysLaw We cannot allow criminals to get away with the death of their victims, especially our disabled loved ones. 12-5-18 Update: The court is moving forward with the golden plea deal for Teator- reduced charges, 3 years probation, and the gift of wiping out her completely unrelated charges in a totally separate court. The Thompson case has not started yet... I’m outraged. This is NOT JUSTICE or a deterrent for INTENTIONALLY victimizing an autistic 19 year old whereby the crime directly led to his death. Please, please, help me fix this so our story doesn’t become someone else’s.  What you can do to help:1. SHARE the petition and Bailey’s story, in person and online2. Go to our website and print free flyers for local venues and local bulletin boards in your town, and deliver them to all the neighbors on your street 3. Call agencies that support the disabled and/or elderly and ask them to join our coalition of support. You can give them the website address as a contact.                    4. Call your representatives, wherever you live, and tell them we need #BaileysLaw.5. Stay informed. The blood and guts of this journey is on our Facebook page Dear Bailey. OUR STORY My 19 year old autistic son, Bailey, committed suicide on 7-31-17, my birthday of all days. After nearly 20 years of complete family devotion and cultivating our lives in support, contemplation and preparation of his each new life phase, new stage, new challenge, and new triumph our lives were completely and irrevocably upended in the span of 8 minutes. Bailey had many friends. He was kind, funny, caring, generous, gentle, down to earth, and creative. He was an artist, a lover of history, and had compassion for all living things. He was a teacher his whole life as much as he was a student of it. Bailey made me stronger, made me determined, made me timely, made me adjustable, made me more understanding...and it was Bailey that made me an advocate for kids with special needs for all these years. Of course, his 3 siblings also helped make me, and him, over the years...we all made each other. Our family has always been very tight. Being a single mom the last 16 years enabled me to make my children my world, and show them we are a team. I’ve tried to give them everything I am and everything I have within me, with intention. But despite everything I’d, we’d, put in over the years my son, their brother, is gone...less then 8 minutes after leaving my side. Bailey resorted to suicide 7 days after being a victim of a financial crime, 4 days after I realized he was victimized, and less than 5 hours of being asked to ID one of the perpetrators. He was preyed upon, betrayed, and taken advantage of by a girl he knew for years and had recently befriended him. This girl connected her male friend to my son under the guise of helping them cash a check. From what I’ve been told by State Police, Bailey was hesitant to help them, unsure of whether or not the request was legitimate, and she assured my son that the request was fine and then promised him, I believe, $200 from the proceeds for his assistance. I suspect Bailey provided them with his bank card and his PIN number. On 7-24-17 the male deposited a $1675.00 fraudulent check at an atm in Highland, NY and then immediately withdrew $200 (the amount fronted with a check hold); this was caught on atm bank video. I realized there was a problem on Thursday the 27th when I noted on our joint account both the deposit and withdrawal as well as the $200 withdrawal ultimately being pulled from my separate account. Bailey was learning banking and I would transfer his disability money to the joint account so he would learn about money management, budgeting, grocery shopping, etc. Bailey was devastated over the loss. We connected with local police on the 27th, who then directed us to the nearest state troopers on the 28th, who in turn directed us to State Troopers in Highland on 7-29-17 where we filed a complaint. Later on that Saturday, my youngest son told me he overheard his brother Bailey on the phone after hearing of the banking problem on Thursday, extremely upset over the financial loss and insisting on the return of funds. On Monday, 7-31-17 the investigator came to our house at 12:30 to see if Bailey could ID the male in the bank video. Bailey claimed he did not know the person and by his reaction I believe he didn’t. At 5:16pm he left our home stating he was going for a walk to draw; this was not unlike him as his executive processing speed is slower than many and he’d use walks or drawing to manage stresses. By 5:30 I heard the emergency response sirens and ran down our street, because I never wanted my kids around the chaos when EMS was in the area, and of course I wanted to count the safety of my chicks. The area they were responding to is a nuisance area that has had more than it’s fair share of fires....but there was no fire truck, only medical response. My son had hung himself in the woods less than a block from our home. The next day I was presented with a note he’d written; he clearly believed he’d done something very wrong in trusting the wrong person. No law enforcement involved in this case believes that Bailey had the faculty to understand what was happening, or the complexities that he was a victim, and neither does any of his family nor his longstanding therapist. There is no doubt in my mind that he merely thought he was helping someone. Both accused, at this point, will only be charged minimally; one with grand larceny 4th and the other with Endangering a disabled person 1st, both class E non violent felonies. Theoretically they could each get probation. They have each since been arrested for other crimes; her on drug charges in October 2017 and him for killing a 16 year old with his car after an argument in Yonkers in December 2017. The male is being held without bail in Westchester and has yet to be charged for our case. The female was arrested and arraigned for this case but was granted release on $2000 cash/$4000 bond. I am sickened over what may be obvious to you at this point, that the charges do not reflect their role in the death of my son. People with disabilities, including autism, are among our most vulnerable community members. It seems so unjust that a charge of endangering specifically relates to affecting the mental well-being of a vulnerable person yet they are not charged with the actual consequences of this criminal action. I’m currently working with our local representatives to start the process of pushing for new legislation in the state to hold perpetrators fully accountable for the consequences of their actions. The law for Endangering in NY currently states: “Under our law, a person is guilty of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree when he or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect. The term "knowingly” has its own special meaning in our law. I will now give you the meaning of that term. A person KNOWINGLY acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect when that person is aware that he or she is acting in such manner. Actual harm to the incompetent or physically disabled person need not result.” Currently under our criminal laws culpability for a persons suicide rests on the aspect of “aiding and abetting”, or, in practical terms, specifically aiding, directing or encouraging the suicide. This MUST change. Those that would intentionally cultivate an environment and/or circumstances specifically to use people with disabilities to commit a crime, need to be held accountable for the full range of actual damages they cause, including the death of their victim. We need #BaileysLaw to firmly establish... If a defendant is charged with endangering in the first degree, or another crime related and/or connected to a charge of endangering in the first degree (as in coconspirators/codefendant), whereby the events result in the victim’s suicide within reasonable proximity of the crime, defendants should be criminally charged for the victim’s death. This area of law, as it specifically relates to endangering, also needs to be updated to incorporate the disability standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Social Security Administration in trials. As it stands, the question of a successful trial seems tied to whether or not the victim has an IQ over 40, and can dress and feed oneself. This is an extremely low threshold for a successful trial against a perpetrator charged with endangering and is not in line with current state and federal laws to protect the disabled. There are an enormous number of people with autism, and other disabilities, who have a high IQ and can feed and clothe themselves but cannot fully meet their own needs in a manner that could be characterized as independent living. Bailey’s Law should protect anyone that can be considered a vulnerable person by including the state and federal standards of disability.   I urge you to support Bailey’s Law. It will not help my family but it will help many others. PLEASE, sign this petition to help me get it passed!  To view or VOTE YES on the #BaileysLaw bill (NY S.8541) you can visit https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/s8541  - there is a link at this location for the identical Assembly version as well. To learn more about my beloved Bailey you can visit the guestbook at https://m.legacy.com/obituaries/poughkeepsiejournal/obituary.aspx?n=&pid=186269333&referrer=0&preview=True To follow our journey, visit https://www.facebook.com/BaileysBridges/ https://m.facebook.com/DearBaileyLoveMom/ & http://BaileysBridges.org/baileyslaw/ Sincerely, Gae Marie Cannon, Poughkeepsie, NY *6-17-18 Update: Our bill for Bailey’s Law passed in the NY Senate on 6-11-18 with a vote of 44/17. The bill is now in the NY Assembly (A.10874) and I’m pushing to have it passed before the end of the legislative session on 6-20-18.  The Ulster County Court has declined to take on the female’s case (the facilitator of this crime), and referred it back to the Town Court. This means that HER CHARGES WILL BE REDUCED from felony to misdemeanor or less- because Town Courts CANNOT process felonies. It is looking more and more like she will get 3 years of probation... To put this into context- a DWI, WITHOUT LOSS OF LIFE, can result in 3 years probation, over $1000 fine and revocation of drivers license...  I am disgusted.... these people KNEW they were committing a crime. KNEW they were targeting someone with a disability, and their actions resulted in the DEATH of their victim......  Please, please share our petition... This is just not right..  Targeting our vulnerable loved ones breaks a sacred social contract in our society and we must prevent this from happening to someone else...  8-15-18 Update: Our bill for Bailey’s Law is currently stuck in the Codes Committee of the Assembly but I am pushing forward with public support signatures as well as organizational and legislator support. Our bill now has 4 Assembly sponsors: Didi Barrett, Christine Pellegrino, Angelo Santabarbara, and David McDonough. This is immensely helpful but until this bill passes in the Assembly and is signed by Andrew Cuomo, we cannot stop pushing for more bill support.  Our next court hearing for the female’s case is on August 28th. It’s expected she will be offered a plea bargain of a reduced charge (felony Endangering in the 1st to misdemeanor Endangering) with a sentence of 3 years probation. THIS IS NOT JUSTICE FOR AN INTENTIONAL CRIME THAT RESULTED IN DEATH.  The male has not yet been brought up to our county for arraignment; he is still pending trial for Murder 2 in Westchester County in an unrelated case.  9-21-18 Update: Our last court appearance for Teator did not go as expected, thankfully. But know I have no idea what’s going to happen. Our next court date is Tuesday, 9-25-18. See update for more details.  12-5-18 Update: The court is moving forward with the golden plea deal for Teator- reduced charges, 3 years probation, and the gift of wiping out her completely unrelated charges in a totally separate court. The Thompson case has not started yet... I’m outraged. This is NOT JUSTICE or a deterrent for INTENTIONALLY victimizing an autistic 19 year old whereby the crime directly led to his death. Please, please, help me fix this so our story doesn’t become someone else’s.  What you can do to help:1. SHARE the petition and Bailey’s story, in person and online2. Go to our website and print free flyers for local venues and local bulletin boards in your town, and deliver them to all the neighbors on your street 3. Call agencies that support the disabled and/or elderly and ask them to join our coalition of support. You can give them the website address as a contact.                    4. Call your representatives, wherever you live, and tell them we need #BaileysLaw.5. Stay informed. The blood and guts of this journey is on our Facebook page Dear Bailey. Thank you so much for your support, your caring messages (yes, I read them all), and I hope you’ll stay with me through this process of fixing the law. With gratitude, Gae Marie 

A Mourning Mom *
16,684 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Tracie Davis, Audrey Gibson, Marco Rubio, Florida State Senate, Florida Governor, Florida State House, Susan Davis, Bernie Sanders, Paul D. Ryan, Mike Quigley

Help families of murdered children pass Curtis’s Law

I will never forget the day those policeman came to my door to tell my that my son Curtis was dead. Your world is immediately flipped upside down and the pain grips you like nothing else you can imagine. After the initial shock wears off, you want answers. As a parent, you need basic answers. Answers to questions like: Who is investigating my child’s case, and where are their belongings? As if the pain of losing my child wasn’t enough, I had to take on the additional stress and frustration of attempting to pry these very basic details out of the law enforcement agency investigating my son’s death. In Florida, law enforcement agencies are not required to release any information about on-going murder investigations to anyone. My son’s investigation has been on-going for almost 20 years now. I had to get a lawyer to simply find out who was working on my son’s case! I would later learn that my experience was not unique. Other parents were struggling through the same process. Those who can’t afford legal counsel often give up. This is why I am working with other parents of murdered children to create a law in Florida that would require law enforcement agencies to send a letter to the parent, legal guardian, or next-of-kin within 30 days of notifying them of their child’s death. The letter would include information about: Onsite police and paramedics, assigned investigators, coroner’s name, where child’s property and belongings are stored, and any available photos This would NOT be required if the child’s parent, legal guardian, or next-of-kin is a suspect or person-of-interest in the child’s murder investigation. When a family faces the unthinkable, all they want is some type of closure. They shouldn’t have to spend weeks or months, or even retain legal counsel to get the basic information about their child’s case that can help our families begin to heal. Please sign this petition today and help families like mine pass Curtis’s Law today.    

patricia ward
60,153 supporters