Topic

mass incarceration

62 petitions

Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Governor Kathy Hochul

Clemency for Bryon Russ

We ask you to sign this petition in support of the decision that Bryon K. Russ Sr. be granted Executive Clemency by the New York State Governor.  We are seeking Executive Clemency by way of commutation for Bryon. He has served twenty (21) years in prison.  We believe Bryon should be granted clemency because he has used his time productively and responsibly to rehabilitate himself and pro-actively advance himself in positive ways.  Bryon has completed all therapeutic programs the NYS Department of Corrections offers.  He has participated in voluntary programs like Youth Assistance Program (YAP) and Alternative to Violence Program (AVP).  Bryon has also facilitated educational and therapeutic classes for other prisoners on topics like alternatives to violence, aggression replacement, basic education skills, general business, and Real Estate.  He has obtained training and certificates for teaching other people in prison, Inmate Program Associate (IPA), legal research clerk, and vocational skill.  Bryon has obtained 48+ credits toward his associate degree, through the Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP), offered by Cornell University. In 2019 Bryon and his family began organizing an annual book-bag and school supply giveaway and this has grown larger every year.  Bryon is currently employed as an Inmate Program Associate (IPA) in transitional services. He facilitates Aggression Replacement Training (ART) classes.  Bryon is also an AVP facilitator and mentors other people in both independenly and in classes Alternatives to Violence (AVP). Bryon was Chairmen of the Inmate Liaison Committee (ILC) for 15 months, much of this time was spent helping with COVID-19 mitigation effort in the facility.  This committee works side by side with the correctional facility’s Executive and Administrative staff to foster communication between the staff and prison population and propose considerations to remedy issues the incarcerated population is facing.   Bryon makes great use of his time incarcerated. He recognizes the harm he has caused the victims in the crime he makes no excuses for. He invites his victims to reach out to him so they are able to have an opportunity to heal holistically.  Not only has he made extensive improvements to himself and his thinking, he works tirelessly to assist others in doing the same.  Simply stated, he is no longer the man he was when he was 25 years old and sentenced to 49 years in prison.  In the 21 years Bryon has been incarcerated, he has never received a disciplinary ticket for any form of violence.  He has never received a disciplinary ticket for drug use, weapons use, or weapons possession.  Bryon has learned from his mistakes and deserves a fair and thorough consideration for clemency.  We ask that you please sign this petition in support of the decision to grant Bryon Russ Sr. clemency and allow him to be released as soon as possible.  We are asking for a fair and careful review of his entire clemency proposal, case file and institutional record.   The idea of Bryon having to serve yet another 13 years in prison seems like a gross injustice, not only to Bryon and our family, but also to the taxpayers of New York.  Please allow Bryon an opportunity to put all the great self-work and personal betterment he has done to use, gain his freedom, re-enter society, and become the productive and successful citizen he has prepared himself to be.  Thank you for your support. -The Family of Bryon K. Russ Sr.

Jolene Russ
5,678 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Ralph S. Northam, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Governor, Virginia State Senate, Glenn Youngkin, Don Scott

Give Felipe Layug III (Jun) a Second Chance - Help us get him home!

Do you believe in forgiveness, mercy and second chances? Since July of 2004, Felipe Layug III has been incarcerated on an 85-year sentence at the tender age of 21. He left behind his family and 2 sons. These past 17 years has allowed Felipe to define his focus and has afforded him time to mature within self. That said he can honestly say that this time has truly served its purpose in this phase of his life that has become a chapter and not an ending to his story. He has learned so much about himself, life, and others. He has also matured into his manhood being born through these trials and tribulations of mother nature. While incarcerated Felipe has cultivated himself mentally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually by learning skills, education, and acquiring certifications that equips him with the resourcefulness to depend on his ability in society and not crime once released. Felipe has embraced the work necessary to face his hang-ups to learn how to remove the thorns from the comprehension of his subconscious to prevent him from making the mistake of blaming others for the pain in his life or the pain of his past. It hasn't been easy for him, yet it was necessary which has taught him the power of choice regardless of who or what the outside influences present themselves to him as. He understands now that his life and the health of it is contingent upon the choices he makes from here on out and he has chosen the brighter side of life. With having and desiring so much he wants to offer from becoming the man his mother, father, and sisters dreamed of him becoming; and his sons being extremely proud of, we just ask that you take some time to consider what actually took place.       On July 26th, 2004 Felipe Layug and his co-de (co-defendant) were getting ready to head home and as they were walking passed a hallway door they walked passed 2 men standing and talking by their patio. His co-de looked at him with an intense stare and went back the same way they just had come from. He knew something wasn’t right about that look, so as soon as he came back around the corner he seen his co-de with his gun drawn while going through one of the victim’s pockets. Then the other victim stepped out the house and was surprised to see them out there and realized his friend was getting robbed. Up until that exact point he didn’t have anything to do with the situation. However, the second victim moved in the direction of his friend to probably assist him and that’s when he intervened… he drew his gun on him and told him to “chill.” He did not want the situation to turn into a possible shooting or a senseless murder. Then he let the second victim go and grabbed the first victim as his co-de searched the second victim for anything of value. He escorted the first victim into the apartment and stopped in the living room. As they stood there for four minutes the first victim offered Felipe what money he had left in his possession and he told him he didn’t want anything from him. His co-de asked where the car keys were, first victim said they were in the car, so they walked them to the car. Felipe got in the passenger seat, his co-de got in the driver seat and they drove off. His co-de was murdered that same night in an unrelated situation. Although we do not condone any of his crimes or charges, the belief that his sentencing was harsh is an understatement. From that incident Felipe was charged and convicted of 16 felonies, sentenced to 160 years with 75 suspended. Leaving him with 85 active years to serve, which is the rest of his natural life for a crime that was appropriate for a 10-15-year sentence due to the role he played in the crime of what took place. Felipe's family and friends are desperate for him to be released back to where he belongs. He has accepted his wrongful choices he made as a teenager, however his character and personality does nothing but bring positive vibes and enlightenment to the lives that interact with his presence. If you believe Felipe Layug lll deserves a second chance at freedom, family, and life then please take one more minute of your time to sign this online petition in support of the current governor releasing him of reducing his remaining sentence. He truly thanks you all for the time you have taken to read this info and for providing your assistance in whatever capacity you can. His family also thanks you for your thoughts and prayers in believing that this aim will turn out favorable for him. He will do right by the love, mercy, understanding invested. 

Kallie Rodriguez
5,226 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to California Governor

Grant Commutation for Incarcerated Survivor Stacey Dyer!

SUMMARY Stacey Dyer is an incarcerated survivor of child sexual abuse and severe domestic violence who has been in prison for 17 years. By the time she was convicted and sentenced to Life Without Parole when she was 22 years old, she suffered from the devastating long-term effects of profound and repeated sexual, physical, and psychological abuse, important context for her conviction. Please join us in asking Governor Gavin Newsom to commute Stacey Dyer’s sentence from Life Without Parole to a parole-eligible sentence. BACKGROUND Stacey Dyer is an incarcerated survivor of child sexual abuse, rape, and domestic violence who has been in prison for 16 years. By the time she was convicted and sentenced to Life Without Parole when she was 22 years old, Stacey had suffered from the devastating long-term effects of profound sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. Because Stacey had experienced compounded trauma, her sense of safety was shattered. When she was 20 years old, Stacey was attacked by a group of men and raped. A year later, she thought she had finally found safety in a relationship with a person who was the lead member of a gang and who promised to protect her. However, this context of compromised safety ultimately led to her crime. Stacey continues to experience profound remorse and grief as a result, in addition to contending with her own experiences of violence. In prison, Stacey has taken initiative to create positive change in her community and, as a result, she was elected into multiple leadership positions by her peers. Stacey serves as a certified peer mentor and a trained facilitator for many support groups such as grief counseling and suicide prevention. Stacey is also deeply involved in her own healing and transformation, participating in dozens of programs on topics such as insight, restorative justice, conflict resolution, and domestic violence. Like many other stories of criminalized survivors, Stacey’s life reflects the consequences of our community’s failure to adequately support child and adult survivors of sexual and physical abuse. This lack of support creates and sustains ongoing cycles of violence. We urge Governor Newsom to help end the conditions of violence that shaped Stacey’s life by giving her the opportunity to seek parole and continue to heal, make amends, and give back to her community. Join us in asking Governor Newsom to commute Stacey Dyer’s sentence from Life Without Parole to a parole-eligible sentence. Thank you for your support. Please also sign our petitions to commute Christina, Brandy, Rae & Tammy. To support more survivors, follow us @survivepunish.

Survived & Punished
7,456 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Gavin Newsom

Grant Commutation for Incarcerated Survivor Tomiekia Johnson!

SUMMARY Tomiekia Johnson is a Black mother, an incarcerated survivor of ongoing severe domestic violence, and a former highway patrol officer. While attempting to defend herself from physical violence by her abusive husband, Tomiekia and her husband struggled with a gun, resulting in a fatal shot that ended his life. Tomiekia was convicted and sentenced to 50 years to life (25 years to life with an additional 25 to life for a gun enhancement). Due to a series of systemic biases, her trial failed to take into account the context of profound violence that she experienced within the relationship. Because of the constant danger domestic violence caused for Tomiekia, she has been in prison since 2012, forcibly separating her from her child, family, and community. Join us in asking Governor Gavin Newsom to commute Tomiekia’s sentence so that she can recover with the support of her loving family. BACKGROUND Tomiekia Johnson is a Black mother, an incarcerated survivor of ongoing severe domestic violence, and a former highway patrol officer. While defending her life during a physical assault by her husband, he was fatally shot. Tomiekia was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to Life with an additional 25-year sentence due to a gun enhancement. Due to a series of systemic biases, her trial failed to take into account the context of profound violence that she experienced within the relationship.   For years, Tomiekia experienced severe intimate partner violence, creating an increasingly untenable situation as she did her best to survive. She was targeted with ongoing psychological and physical violence, threats, and coercion from her husband, filling her with fear for her life and for her family’s safety. In 2009, Tomiekia’s husband physically assaulted her in the car while she was driving. While attempting to defend herself from physical violence by her abusive husband, Tomiekia and her husband struggled with a gun, resulting in a fatal shot that ended his life. Tomiekia’s mother called 911 immediately after this happened and Tomiekia was not arrested or charged until two years later. Despite video evidence of her husband abusing her before they got in the car, she was not believed as a victim of domestic violence and her experience of abuse was not taken into account during her trial. In prison, Tomiekia has demonstrated community leadership through facilitating self-help groups and personal development groups such as Pathways to Freedom. She also consistently volunteers for charity and holiday programs, doing so as a practice of her Christian faith, and she is a facilitator for the Live, Learn, and Prosper program where she supports others who have experienced trauma. In addition to her service to others, Tomiekia has continued to build on her education. Tomiekia has deep moral principles and faith and, although she acknowledges that she acted in a context of intimate partner violence, she is also profoundly remorseful for the events that led to her conviction. If released, Tomiekia will be surrounded by a supportive community who need her and look forward to being there for her as she navigates her process of recovering from the traumatic events she has experienced. She hopes to rebuild her life and become a mentor and public speaker about domestic violence, especially for young Black women who are struggling with similar kinds of intersections of violence. Survivors of domestic and sexual violence should be supported, not punished and imprisoned for the rest of their lives. We urge you to commute Tomiekia’s sentence. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Survived & Punished
20,128 supporters