24 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Lawrence R. Silverman, Ralph S. Northam, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Donald J. Trump, Michelle Obama, barack obama

The Unjust Imprisonment of Nicodemus Acosta: Navy Veteran Sentenced to 25 Years in Kuwait

On August 25, 2018, Nicodemus Acosta was asleep in his home when Kuwaiti Officials kicked his door in and began illegally searching his house for drugs that he was accused of distributing by an individual who had been arrested days before.  According to the Kuwaiti Constitution, Article 38: "The home is inviolable; therefore, save in the cases determined by Law and in the manner stipulated therein, no person may enter any home without the dweller's permission." His home was ransacked and his property was destroyed. [Kuwait Constitution, Article 31: "No person may be arrested, imprisoned, searched, have his residence restricted or be restrained in liberty of residence or of movement save in conformity with the provisions of the Law. No person shall be subjected to torture or to ignominious treatment."] Nicodemus was arrested, beaten and then detained in a Detention Center. [Kuwaiti Constitution, Article 34: "The accused is innocent until proved guilty in a Court of Law which shall guarantee him the necessary sureties to exercise his right of defense. The accused shall not be bodily or mentally injured."] Once it was determined that his case would go to trial, he was eventually relocated to the public prison. Possession of 800 grams was what was written in the report, even though the evidence on file contradicted what was written.  Nicodemus submitted numerous requests for a Bail hearing and they were repeatedly denied.  He was detained in Prison without being formally charged with a crime from August 25, 2018 until March 13, 2019.  At his most recent hearing he was sentenced to 25 years on charges of Drug Use and Drug Distribution, although there was no evidence to support the distribution charge. Nicodemus Acosta is a loving father, a native New Yorker and a U.S. Navy Veteran. He was working as an IT contractor, supporting U.S. Forces in Kuwait for 3 years, prior to his arrest. He has no previous criminal record, and we cannot allow his life to be spent doing time based off of Fabricated Drug Charges and Falsified Evidence. In the US, we are given a fair trial, and are assumed innocent until proven guilty.  Currently, he is facing 25 years.  We will not allow this to go unnoticed, we are bringing this to the forefront.  There are many other Americans with eerily similar stories and this needs immediate attention! We have contacted the U.S. Embassy repeatedly and we have been told they are unable to help him, which is completely unacceptable.  All they have done are well checks and he has paid out of pocket for a Kuwaiti lawyer. Should we as Americans, be skeptical of traveling or working abroad for fear of this type of treatment from our own country?  Bring home Nicodemus Acosta and the many other Veterans that served and sacrificed for our country. This seems all too common in Kuwait and it needs to be addressed.  Time is of the essence.  My family and I are in desperate need of an intervention. He is missing out on the opportunity to witness his son grow up and mold him into a strong young man. So much has transpired in these last few months, he's lost two grandmothers, one of which who raised him. His father is also not in good health. Please make Nicodemus Acosta a priority and let's FREE HIM NOW!   Please sign and share this petition!  Help bring awareness for Nicodemus as well as the other American veterans in Kuwait by also signing Jermaine Roger’s petition and Tyrone Peterson’s petition. They all have eerily similar stories that needs to be addressed.  Please tweet, call, write, email to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait U.S. Embassy Twitter U.S. Embassy Kuwait CityP. O. Box 77Safat 13001KuwaitTelephone: 00-(965) 2259-1001Fax: 00-(965) 2538-0282

Denise A
14,379 supporters
This petition won 6 months ago

Petition to Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Free Ekaterina, the brown bear serving a life sentence in a Kazakh prison!

See Russian translation below English. The correctional colony of the city of Kostanay contains 730 ‘dangerous criminals’ and one brown bear named Ekaterina. She was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime she committed 15 years ago. This bear was accused of attacking two people in a tourist camp in 2004 and is now the only female prisoner in this penal colony, the only one who is serving a life sentence. Ekaterina was placed in a cage near a tourist camp after she was expelled from the local circus. One day she caught an 11-year-old boy who got too close to the cage. The boy survived, with ‘serious injuries’. During the same year, Ekaterina attacked a 28-year-old drunk man, who tried to "shake her paw". She was accused of all "crimes", for simply being what she is: a wild and potentially dangerous animal that is not a tourist attraction, doesn't belong in a cage and needs to be handled with extreme care and caution and only by trained experts. 15 years behind bars of a small cage made Ekaterina very obedient. Even other prisoners often spend time in close proximity to her to be distracted from a life in jail. The bear is fed a poor diet of kitchen scraps, for only seven months a year. The prison management says she goes in hibernation for the rest of the year, which is highly doubtful given her concrete enclosure with no hibernation den and poor diet with not enough nutrients to get her through the hibernation period. Ekaterina became a symbol of the prison; the statue of a bear was erected in her honor near the walls of the institution and we believe that the humans of the prison genuinely care about Ekaterina, but a human prison with its tiny empy concrete cell is no place for an animal. Ekaterina deserves to live the rest of her life in a sanctuary with other bears. Since the news of her imprisonment became known outside of Kazakhstan, the international NGOs Bears in Mind and Forgotten Animals demand her immediate ‘release’ and placement in a sanctuary suitable for captive bears. Please sign this petition to urge the responsible Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan to help free Ekaterina and re-home her to a proper facility. She has already suffered for 15 years inside this prison (and in a circus before that) so let's give her a few years to enjoy life as a bear again! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Свободу Екатерине, бурой медведице, отбывающей пожизненное заключение в Казахстанской тюрьме! В исправительной колонии города Костанай отбывают наказание 730 опасных преступников и одна бурая медведица по имени Екатерина. Она была арестована и приговорена к пожизненному заключению за "преступление", которое она совершила 15 лет назад. Медведицу обвинили в нападении на двух человек в туристическом лагере в 2004 году, и теперь Екатерина является единственной заключенной женского пола в этой исправительной колонии и единственной, кто отбывает пожизненное заключение. Более 15 лет назад Екатерину посадили в клетку возле туристического лагеря после того, как ее выбросил за ненадобностью местный цирк. Однажды она травмировала 11-летнего мальчика, который подошел слишком близко к клетке. Мальчик был серьёзно травмирован, но выжил. В том же году Екатерина напала на 28-летнего пьяного мужчину, который пытался «пожать ей лапу». Екатерину обвинили во всех этих «преступлениях» лишь за то, что она вела себя как та, кем она является – диким и потенциально опасным животным, а не туристической достопримечательностью. Медведи, как и многие другие животные, не приспособлены для жизни в клетке, не имея возможности быть выпущенными в природу, дикие животные должны жить в специальных парках-приютах "sanctuary", где с ними работают специально обученные этому профессионалы. 15 лет за решеткой в маленькой тюремной камере сделали Екатерину очень послушной. Другие заключенные часто проводят время рядом с её клеткой, отвлекаясь тем самым от серой тюремной жизни. Екатерину кормят неадекватной для медведей диетой, состоящей из кухонных отходов, и то всего лишь семь месяцев в году. Руководство тюрьмы утверждает, что остальные 5 месяцев она залегает в спячку, что весьма сомнительно, учитывая отсутствие в камере берлоги для спячки, ее плохое питание и недостаток витаминов, необходимых для поддержания медведей в спячке. Екатерина стала символом тюрьмы – около тюремных стен воздвигли статую в её честь. Мы верим, что работники тюрьмы любят и искренне заботятся о Екатерине, но, не смотря на это, крошечная железно-бетонная камера — не место для животного! Екатерина заслуживает прожить остаток своей жизни в адекватном парке-sanctuary в компании других медведей. С тех пор как информация о ее заключении стала известна за пределами Казахстана, международные благотворительные организации «Bears in Mind» и «Забытые Животные» требуют ее немедленного освобождения и помещения в подходящее для нее  учреждение. Пожалуйста, подпишите эту петицию, чтобы убедить правительство Республики Казахстан освободить Екатерину. Уже 15 лет она страдает: сначала в цирке, сейчас в тюрьме. Давайте вместе подарим ей несколько счастливых лет, чтобы она снова могла наслаждаться дикой жизнью настоящего медведя!

Koen Cuyten
2,130 supporters
Started 6 months ago

Petition to Federal Bureau of Prisons

End the blatant racial discrimination in our criminal justice system

We demand that the blatant racial discrimination in our criminal justice system be brought to light, and we recognize that ending it is a nearly impossible task. However, simply spreading awareness of such a widely pervasive issue (denied by so many) is quite a feat in and of itself. Before reading, I want you to consider something. True privilege is the power to ignore or even deny a problem simply because it is inconvenient to you. It is more comfortable to believe the problem is non-existent when it does not directly affect you as an individual. In 1776, America was infamously founded upon the principles of freedom, liberty, and equality. However, these basic human rights have been long unattainable for many. To this day, African Americans are being denied freedom due to our nation’s unjust prison system. Racial bias is undoubtedly interwoven throughout the American criminal justice system, and it is our responsibility as a nation to bring this systematic racism to an end. Intentional or not, when racial bias is combined with the intense pressure put on police to meet ticket and arrest quotas, blacks ultimately pay the price. African Americans are disproportionately ticketed, searched, and arrested. According to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, African Americans receive 95 percent of jaywalking tickets and 94 percent of tickets for “failure to comply.” The report goes on to mention that: "African Americans account for 85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67% of Ferguson’s population. African Americans are more than twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during vehicle stops even after controlling for non-race based variables such as the reason the vehicle stop was initiated, but are found in possession of contraband 26% less often than white drivers, suggesting officers are impermissibly considering race as a factor when determining whether to search." There is simply no justifiable explanation for the inordinate stops, citations, and searching of blacks, especially when taking into account the decreased likelihood of finding illegal drugs or weapons. Furthermore, a study of stop and frisk incidents in Boston by the ACLU found that: "...Blacks were subjected to 63% of these encounters, even though they made up just 24% of Boston’s population. The analysis also showed that crime—whether measured by neighborhood crime rates or the arrest records or alleged gang involvement of the civilians subjected to these encounters—does not explain away this racial disparity." Incredibly, 97.5 percent of these encounters resulted in no arrest or seizure of contraband. Allow me to repeat myself: how is it that blacks, and more specifically African Americans, are stopped at such a drastically higher rate than whites despite being much less likely to be in possession of illegal weapons or substances? Clearly our system is culpable of blatant racial discrimination. In defense of law enforcement, many people believe blacks simply commit more crimes and there is no racial disparity. Many prefer to ignore the rampant corruption in our biased system. However, denial can't ever resolve this very real issue. According to a study of 237,000 traffic stops in Rhode Island, blacks constitute approximately 11 percent of those stopped, which is notably higher than their 6.5 percent share of the population at large. More importantly, the study also found that blacks were stopped much more frequently during the daytime, when the race of the driver is more easily identified (Ross 119-122). This ingenious method of determining whether or not racism exists in law enforcement (by only taking statistics from daytime stops) has proven the existence of racial bias among police officers and other law enforcement. In modern America, this obvious racial discrimination is absolutely inexcusable. Unsurprisingly, the same targeting of blacks is rampant within our court system. Judges face immense pressure to meet prison quotas and any racial bias (however unintentional) tends to result in disproportional profiling and sentencing of African Americans. According to the aforementioned Ferguson Missouri Report, black people facing similar low-level charges as white people were 68 percent less likely to see those charges dismissed in court. More than 90 percent of the arrest warrants stemming from failure to pay/failure to appear were issued for black people. Furthermore, black jurors tend to be dismissed much more frequently than white jurors, and for seemingly illegitimate reasons. According to The Washington Post, “Between 1994 and 2002, Jefferson Parish prosecutors struck 55 percent of blacks, but just 16 percent of whites. Although blacks make up 23 percent of the population, 80 percent of criminal trials had no more than two black jurors in a state where it takes only 10 of 12 juror votes to convict” (Balko). Even when all outside factors are taken into account, the numbers still don’t add up. It is appalling that such obvious racial discrimination can continue in our American system. This system is heavily biased toward sending African Americans to jail and keeping them there as long as possible. Bail is likely to be higher for blacks according to a 2018 study of bail practices in New Orleans. This study found that black people are more likely to be required to pay bail, more likely to have higher bail, are less likely to be able to afford bail and, therefore, are more likely to remain incarcerated before trial (Daniels 1-6). Blacks are more likely to be sentenced to jail time than whites for the same crime and receive longer jail sentences. Interestingly, 2017 report found that when blacks and whites committed similar drug crimes, blacks received a sentence that was two-thirds longer on average. In some areas it was a shocking two or three times longer (Salman). Moreover, blacks are far more likely than whites to be found guilty of parole violations. There is a widely disproportionate incarceration rate for blacks, even when all outside factors are controlled. Countless voices have spoken up against this issue, only to be silenced time and time again. According to the Los Angeles Times, between 2012 and 2014 the LAPD received more than 1,350 citizen complaints of racial profiling, of which not a single one was upheld (Mather). This well-worn practice of stereotyping and jailing blacks must come to an end. Our nation’s so boldly titled criminal justice system seems to scarcely apply true justice. Is freedom, liberty and equality for all people of our nation too much to ask?                                                        Works Cited: Balko, Radley. “There's Overwhelming Evidence That the Criminal-Justice System Is Racist. Here's the Proof.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 18 Sept. 2018, Daniels, Flozell, Jr., et al. From Bondage to Bail Bonds: Putting a Price on Freedom in New Orleans. Rep. The New Orleans Prosperity Index: Tricentennial Collection. N.p.: Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, 2018. Mather, Kate. "LAPD Found No Bias in All 1,356 Complaints Filed against Officers." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 15 Dec. 2015. Ross, Matthew B., Ph.D., et al. State of Rhode Island Comprehensive Police-Community Relationship Act of 2015 (CCPRA): Traffic Stop Data Analysis and Findings. Rep. The Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy, Central Connecticut State University. N.p.: IMRP, 2016. Salman, Josh, et al. "One War. Two Races. Racial Bias in Florida." One War. Two Races. | Sarasota Herald-Tribune Media Group | Punishment. Herald Tribune, 12 Dec. 2016. Staff from the ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts and the National ACLU Racial Justice Program. Black, Brown, and Targeted: A Report on Boston Police Department Street Encounters from 2007-2010. Rep. ACLU. N.p.: American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Massachusetts, 2014. 1-6. United States. Department of Justice. Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. N.p.: Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, 2015. 4-5.  

Kat H
64 supporters