Topic

Nonviolent Offenders

46 petitions

Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Jerry Brown, California Governor

Reduce my son's unjust sentence

My son Jeremy Stewart has been given 70 years in prison for stealing. He was convicted of burglarizing two homes while the residents were out. There was no confrontation, no threats, and no violence. California has the toughest Three strikes law allowing life sentences for property theft. My son had two prior nonviolent offenses, the judge made the decision to enforce the law to the fullest. I have been fighting for a fairer punishment ever since. Under previous California law, Jeremy would have most likely been sentenced to about 12-15 years in prison. But because of California's 3 Strikes law, Jeremy received a harsher sentence than drug cartel hit men who had confessed to killing more than 20 people. They only got 25-years-to-life. Jeremy's poor decisions were made while he was dealing with a serious drug addiction and depression. He needed treatment and rehabilitation.This doesn't excuse his conduct and he knows he needs to face consequences for his actions. But 70 years to life with no good time credits allowed, means he won't be eligible for parole until he is 96. The cost, 5 million dollars to taxpayers. This is an unjust and  inhumane death sentence, all for nonviolent offense. Jeremy is not the only one being punished -- I am raising his two children in his absence. Every day, these innocent young children suffer emotionally missing their father. I struggle financially working to afford day care and their basic needs.This unjust sentence means his children will never be able share the same four walls as their father. He should have an opportunity to earn the right to return home to provide for his two young children, Heatherly and David, currently ages 5 and 6. Today Jeremy is serving his sentence at Centenila State Prison. He tutors other inmates, leads the Christian worship services and the Narcotics Anonymous group. He currently has a 4.0 GPA through Coastline College and will soon be graduating, just 4 more classes to go. He has been a model prisoner. Jeremy made a terrible mistake, but should a nonviolent crime put him behind bars for life?  A Petition for Clemency has been sent to Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown to exercise his discretion and reduce Jeremy's sentence. I am asking the Governor to reduce his sentence to 20 years. I humbly and respectfully request your support. Please sign my petition and stand by me and my family as we fight to give Jeremy the chance to come home one day. Thank you. Elizabeth Stewart

Elizabeth stewart
55,568 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to President of the United States, Lawrence Kupers, William N. Taylor II

Please Don't Let Jason McClure Live 17 Yrs in Prison for 1st Time Non-Violent Drug Charge

Jason McClure is a kind and generous person who's made positive impacts on so many people's lives (see a few in his testimonials), but he'll be spending the next 17 years of his life in Federal Prison for a first time, non-violent drug charge instead of living these years with friends and family who love him dearly for the person he is and all the good he's done. Jason grew up in a Mormon family with high moral values. He lost his father when he was 10, leaving his mother to care for 5 children on her own, and it wasn't an easy life. Jason vowed to work hard and save money before having children of his own to afford them a comfortable life. He worked many jobs alongside family and friends to help grow their various businesses. When synthetic drugs first emerged there was huge financial potential in this untapped market. Jason and a few friends started working in distribution of synthetic drugs such as spice and, eventually, methylone which at the time were new and legal, and in huge demand. The DEA began classifying these substances to get them off the streets. Anytime a substance became criminalized, Jason and his business partners halted selling it. Except that in 2012 Jason personally filled another methylone order after its banning for a good customer who was working as an informant after getting into trouble of her own. He was apprehended in a parking lot with no weapons of any sort and used no violence during his arrest, and yet that one transaction he was about to make would cost him 17 years of his life. 17 years. A person can do a lot in 17 years. Jason will be 52 years old when he's released. He will have lost the opportunity to have the children he's always wanted. Is that teaching him a lesson? For a man that has not once, not ever hurt anyone, but has given so much of himself to others, is this justice? For a person that believes so firmly in the sanctity of marriage and family that he, rather than irresponsibly father children as so many others do, has waited until he’s ready for marriage, this is the ultimate punishment. Why is Jason being stripped of 17 years of his life while there are rapists who get to go home after 6 months and start over? Why doesn’t he get a second chance? I know it won’t take Jason 17 years to learn from his mistake. I think rather than rob him of a chance at a fulfilling future and embittering him against the judicial system, he needs to be given a chance to prove it. Jason has been an amazing friend and has helped me (and countless others) through difficult times. Please help me now during his difficult time, to give him that chance.  

Cheryl Michel
133 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to President Donald Trump, Pardon Attorney Lawrence Kupers, Acting Attorney General Dana Boente

Clemency for David M. Barren Serving Life Without Parole for a Non-Violent Drug Offense

My family member, David Barren, is serving LIFE plus 20 years without parole for a non-violent drug offense. David was sentenced to LIFE plus 20 years in federal prison for drug conspiracy. 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 8 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 (80) 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 LIFE sentence plus 20 years 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
15,793 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Barack Obama, Robert Zauzmer

28 Years is TOO Long ~ President Obama: Free William Underwood

It's been over 28 years since William Underwood was sentenced to LIFE in prison without the possibility of parole, with his first and only felony, under mandatory minimum sentencing as a drug offender. Without clemency from President Obama, he will DIE in PRISON.  WATCH: #HopeForFathersDay ~ http://vimeo.com/m/108281554 By Ebony Underwood ~ Daughter of William Underwood: My Dad's name is William Underwood and he is a devoted father of four, a grandfather to three grandchildren and a former music impresario: promoting, managing and jumpstarting the careers of top R&B and pop stars of the 80s and 90s. He promoted artists like Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and more. And, today, his family and long list of friends and supporters in the entertainment business want him home! But he wasn't perfect and made mistakes by selling drugs before he had his music career. What originally was a way out of poverty when he was a teenager, and for so many others, eventually became a one-way ticket to prison. Prosecutors, hoping to get a lengthy sentence under the 1980's War on Drugs, painted him as being a part of a narcotics enterprise.  He was arrested in 1988, despite an FBI document which states his case was closed in 1986 “due to lack of activity.” In 1990, he was sentenced, with his first and only felony offense, to a mandatory minimum 20 years on drug conspiracy charges, plus, life without parole. He has already completed the concurrent 20-year sentence. The life without parole sentence was the result of a decision by the judge, not a jury. Because of major changes in sentencing policy over the years, if Dad had been convicted under the sentencing guidelines that exist today, there is a good chance he would be home with family now.  My Dad's love has never faltered throughout the 28 years. He calls my siblings and I almost everyday, sends birthday and holiday cards and emails, but more importantly he has developed an incredible relationship with his grandchildren despite never once meeting them outside of prison walls. He is an amazing grandfather! Today, the laws that were used against him have all been overturned but, unfortunately, because the laws have not been made retroactive, he remains trapped behind prison walls. Our only hope for Dad's release will be through a commutation of his life sentence.  Today, Dad is 62 years old and has been a model prisoner; he has never been written up since being incarcerated for the past quarter of a century. He is a changed man and has accepted responsibility for actions that led to his incarceration. My father tries to keep the younger guys in prison on track to stay out of trouble, and when they leave, to stay on track. For more info, go to: www.INPRISON.net  Please sign my petition asking President Obama to grant my father clemency. 

Ebony Underwood
71,854 supporters