Topic

Nonviolent Offenders

25 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Donald Trump

30 Years is TOO Long ~ President Trump: Free William Underwood

It's been 30 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 Trump, he will DIE in PRISON.  WATCH: #FREEWILLIAMUNDERWOOD By Ebony Underwood ~ Daughter of William Underwood: My Dad's name is William Underwood. He is a devoted father of four and a grandfather of three and a former music industry executive who promoted, managed and jumpstarted the careers of top R&B and pop stars of the 80s and 90s. But he wasn't perfect and made mistakes by selling drugs before 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. Prior to his arrest, he had never been convicted of a felony. Although he once was a part of the negativities of drug street life culture, he had positioned himself legitimately in the music industry as a highly regarded manager, publisher and advisor who was in constant demand by artists and labels requesting his work. Indeed, his involvement in criminal activity had ended years before his arrest, as evidenced by the fact that the FBI closed his case “due to lack of activity’. However, 2 ½ years later, in 1988, he was arrested and charged with a continuing leadership role in a narcotics conspiracy, despite being engaged in a full-time career in the music industry. In 1990, as part of the first round of drug convictions made under the newly enacted federal Sentencing Guidelines of 1987 and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, he received (3) mandatory minimum  sentences of 20 years on drug conspiracy charges plus, life without the possibility of parole. This was my Dad's first and only felony conviction. The life without parole sentence was the result of a decision by the judge, not a jury. As of 2008, my Dad has already completed the concurrent 20-year sentence on Counts 1,2&3. He now seeks commutation of the life without parole sentence of Count 4, a totally non-violent offense. Despite being incarcerated for 30 years, my Dad has never received any infractions and has a pristine institutional record. He has no substance abuse issues and is long and far removed from the negative influences that plagued his younger years. Any tie he may have once had to any type of criminal activity is buried in the distant past. Now, instead of influencing promising young artists in the music industry, he mentors imprisoned youth about their choices in life. My Dad's love for his children has never faltered throughout the 30 years of his incarceration. 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! At 64-years my Dad is a changed man and has accepted responsibility for actions that led to his incarceration. He deeply regrets the negative impact the behavior in his prior life has had and yearns for the opportunity to reunite with his family. He poses absolutely no threat to society and he has the family and community support systems necessary to make his transition from imprisonment to outside society smooth. However, a sentence of life without the possibility of parole has meant that -- no matter how long my Father lives, no matter how much my Father's life has changed, no matter what steps my Father has taken to better himself, no matter how much his family yearns for his return, no matter how many laws have changed -- he can never, ever, leave prison alive. Such a life without parole sentence, devoid of hope and compassion, is inhumane and akin to a living death. Thirty years away from his family has been punishment enough.  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 Presidential Commutation of his life sentence. For more info, go to: www.FREEWILLIAMUNDERWOOD.com Please sign my petition asking President Trump to grant my father clemency.  #HOPEFORFATHERSDAY  

Ebony Underwood
73,175 supporters
This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to President of the United States

Clemency for Timothy Tyler, life for a nonviolent drug offense

My brother Timothy Tyler was just 25 years old when he was sentenced to die in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He's watched murderers and rapists leave prison while he has no chance of ever leaving. He is now 45 years old and I want to bring him home. Timothy was a young Grateful Dead fan, who in May of 1992, sold pot and LSD to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. He had never been to prison before, but a judge was forced to give him double life without the possiblity of parole because of two prior drug convictions — even though both those convictions resulted in probation. Life without the possibility of parole means my brother will never have a chance to live outside of prison walls. It's effectively a death sentence. Tim made mistakes when he was young, but after 22 years in prison, he has more than paid his debt to society. He is not a threat to anyone. He wasn't given a chance to get clean and sober to think about the damage he was doing to his life. They locked him up and threw away the key. But there's hope.  In December, President Obama granted clemency to 8 nonviolent drug offenders who were serving mandatory sentences for crack cocaine. And the Department of Justice recently asked for Bar Associations throughout the country to send them more clemency petitions for nonviolent drug offenders. It costs $25,000 per year to keep my non-violent brother in prison for a mistake he made more than 20 years ago.  So far, that is over half a million dollars.  Not only is that not justice, but it's a waste of money. I need your help to show them that Americans think Timothy has paid his debt to society and shouldn't be housed in a cage at the expense of taxpayers anymore. He should be granted clemency.    

Carrie Tyler
423,306 supporters
This petition won 5 months 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
55,658 supporters
Update posted 9 months ago

Petition to Mary Fallin (Governor)

Help bring my father home

When I was nine years old my father was arrested and was given not one, but three life sentences without the possibility of parole. My father was a drug dealer, not a murderer, not a rapist...but a drug dealer. My father has now served 11 years of that life sentence. I feel that since I am his oldest child it is my duty to help bring him home for me and my family's sake.  I have three brothers by my father and we all yearn to have our daddy back. If my father is not able to come home than he will no longer be able to see his other children because they are minors and in the state of Oklahoma it is now required that if a child is a minor one of his parents has to be at the visitiation. My father has missed out on my childhood but he still has time to be there for my siblings and to me that’s all that matters.  I do not think that it is fair nor safe to see sex offenders and murders walk around enjoying their freedom when they have physically, mentally, and emotionally harmed people yet my father, who is a non-violent offender, has harmed no one and is expected to die in prison all because he wanted to provide the best way he knew how to. Murderers and rapist get way less time than what my father has been given and it makes no since to me.  If my father is granted his freedom than our broken family will be together as one, like it was supposed to be 11 years ago. My siblings will know what it is like to have our daddy home and he will be able to start over in life. My father has had a change of heart and wants to mentor to young adults who feel that selling drugs is the way to provide for your family. He wants people to know that money was not worth losing 11 years of his freedom from his family especially his seeds.    The only way my father won't die behind prison bars is if Governor Mary Fallin has forgiveness in her heart and grants him clemency. Every signature matters to us. 

Alexis Nicholson
54,706 supporters