Topic

Nonviolent Drug Offense

30 petitions

Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump

Please Grant Clemency to Robert Shipp

In 1993, at the age of 20, my brother Robert Shipp was indicted and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and cocaine. In 1994, he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He was involved in the drug conspiracy for only 5 months. This was Robert’s first drug offense and he doesn’t have a violent history.  At his sentencing hearing, Robert’s judge repeatedly verbalized his objections to the sentence that he was forced to give Robert. He explained that he had no choice but to give Robert a life sentence based on the Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines. He further explained that the law didn’t allow him to use discretion in the sentencing. He also noted that the cocaine suppliers plead guilty and received 12 and 14 years for supplying the cocaine in this conspiracy.   While Robert takes full responsibility for his participation in the criminality that resulted in his incarceration, I think it is important to share with you what led this honor student down this path. When Robert was in high school our brother was stabbed to death at the age of 19. Our brother’s untimely death devastated Robert and he began acting out in a negative manner. As a teenager, Robert’s inability to cope with this tragic loss ultimately and regrettably led to his risk-taking/criminal behavior. Our brother’s murderer was sentenced to 20 years and was released after serving 10 years. It is unbelievable that Robert received a life sentence for his 5 months involvement, in a nonviolent drug conspiracy, and our brother’s murderer only served 10 years. Robert should have been punished for his involvement in the conspiracy; however, a life sentence is excessive. Robert’s daughter was almost 2 years old when he was incarcerated. She has unfortunately experienced the all too familiar pitfalls of growing up without a father, and is now a single mother of four. In February 2015, due to a retroactive amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines Robert's sentenced was reduced to 30 years.  My brother is now 46 years old, but hasn't given up on life.  He spends his time reading, mentoring, speaking, and securing all possible certifications and college credits. My children have never seen their uncle outside of the visitation room; however, they look forward to spending time with him, as he shares with them the importance of making the right choices in life and reminds them that bad choices have consequences and could very well mean giving up their freedom. He also encourages them to do well in school, respect others, and take responsibility for their actions. The unexpected death of our father on July 17, 2012, remains difficult for all of us; and is compounded by what we know was our father’s unending hope to secure Robert’s freedom. As our father laid helplessly, on his death bed with weary eyes, I promised him that I would continue to fight for freedom and justice for my brother. Because Robert wasn't allowed to attend our father's funeral, he wrote a letter, entitled, "A Letter to my Dad," and asked that I read it on his behalf. It was by far one of the hardest things I had to do in my life. When Robert is released, our family and loved ones will provide him with emotional and financial support, and a reentry plan has been developed to ensure that he is given a fair chance at becoming a productive citizen. We will also assist him with his desire to mentor youth that are at a crossroad, just as he was as a grieving young adult. Robert has so much to offer society. Please sign my petition asking President Donald Trump to grant my brother clemency. He has more than paid his debt to society for his 5 months involvement in a nonviolent drug conspiracy at the young age of 20. Robert has been in prison for 25 1/2 years now...over half of his life. He was sentenced to life before his life even really got started. 

Veda A.
153,420 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, President Donald Trump, Pardon Attorney Lawrence Kupers, Attorney General William Barr

Clemency for David M. Barren Serving 30 Years!

My family member, David Barren, is serving 30 years for a non-violent drug offense. David was sentenced to LIFE plus 20 years in federal prison for drug conspiracy. On January 19, 2017, he was commuted to a 30 year sentence by President Obama, though it was a "Bittersweet" outcome! Unfortunately David will not be released until "2034"!!!! David has never been to prison, no history of violence, and has no substantial criminal record to support a LIFE sentence plus 20 years. His conviction was based primarily on "hear-say" of witnesses who testified against him in exchange for reduced sentences of their own. David accepts full responsibility for his actions and is truly remorseful for any harm he has caused to his community, family, and those affected by his unwise choices. During his 10 plus years of incarceration, he continues to have a positive outlook on life and works very hard to rehabilitate himself. He has obtained a Paralegal Certificate from Adams State University in Colorado with a 4.0 GPA via correspondence courses, read numerous books to enhance his thirst for knowledge, and mentors younger inmates on his own. Notably, David has been supported by numerous respected members of his community, including Congressman Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State Representative Edward Gainey who've both reviewed David's case and suggest David's sentence is overly harsh and because of his harsh drug sentence, he is a worthy candidate for executive clemency. David comes from a loving family who continues to support him vigorously. His parents (82) and (84) respectively visit David every weekend unless weather permits otherwise. His four siblings, six children, and extended family also continues to be a strong support system via phone calls, cards, letters, and visits to maintain a viable communication line within the family. Because of David's family support and rehabilitative efforts, he is well prepared for release as a productive citizen to society.  There is a consensus among human rights organizations and sentencing advocates that individuals serving lengthy non-violent prison sentences such as David, will no doubt die in prison if President Donald Trump doesn't commute his sentence. Many believe that the next President will not be as compassionate and understanding.  Please help me urge President Donald Trump to grant David Morris Barren's clemency petition.  David will no doubt die in federal prison with a 30 year sentence for a non-violent drug offense. I humbly thank you for your support in efforts to give David a second chance at his life.       "Read more about his case: Dave is #9  on the CAN-DO Top 25 Men Who Deserve Clemency  

Anrica Caldwell
19,776 supporters
Update posted 6 months ago

Petition to Ralph Northam

Clemency for Jesse Dunaway: Serving Life for a Nonviolent Drug Offense

Jesse Dunaway is currently the only person in Virginia serving a mandatory minimum life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. Jesse is extremely remorseful for his actions and has already served 15 years. His punishment is harsher than most men receive for extremely violent crimes and he was over sentenced for his offense compared to similar cases. Still, Jesse does not make excuses for his poor decision to get involved with cocaine — he was hoping to make extra money for his family. At his trial, prosecutors to "tried out" a new mandatory minimum law resulting in his life sentence.  The best person to tell Jesse's story is Jesse himself. Please read this message from him and sign my petition asking Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to grant Jesse clemency.  "I am not the same person that came to prison in 2004. I can honestly say that this process has been the hardest years of my entire life. I had to grow up and I became a much better person, admit my mistakes and to ask for forgiveness. I just want the second chance to do what is right and to make a difference. Prison has fueled me with a deep desire to be a productive man and a good father. I dream of being able to work, come home to family, and be at peace. I want to be a father to my children and appreciate even the smallest things in life. I just hope and pray that my freedom is granted so I can live productively and positively. When I came to prison, I was a 23 year old boy. I wasn't a grown man. Many things that I thought I knew about life, I did not. Thirteen years later, I look back at how much I have changed and grown into a man that wants so much out of life. I just want to be a father to my children and a role model for young men and endangered youth, as I was. It is more important to live by principles and to be a positive role model and example for others. I have a passion to be an active advocate for disadvantaged youth and young men who have a high probability of making the wrong decisions in life. While in prison, I had limited access to educational and vocational programs due to my life sentence but I never gave up. I found the opportunity to excel in Food Service and completed the Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management program. This program is a 2 year course and I was one of the first to complete it in the Department of Corrections. I had the highest class scores in it's existence. This had inspired me to pursue a career as a chef or restaurant manager/owner. I worked as a cook and developed menus for the staff members while incarcerated. I earned a lot of respect for my work ethic and character. I was entrusted to be solely in charge of the daily menu for staff and food preparation on a daily basis. I take pride in doing what is right and that is my mission in life. I have ambitions and dreams to become a productive citizen and a mentor to young adults to achieve their greatest potential. I just need a second chance." 

Kathy Ross
2,570 supporters