Petition to Charlie Baker
Support my son Arnie King by signing his petition to commute the life (without parole) sentence so that he can become eligible for parole release.
This is important because Arnie is requesting a 6th public hearing. Governor Patrick rejected a 6-0 favorable vote in 2008, and Arnie was granted another hearing in October 2010. Two months after the hearing, a police officer was killed by a lifer on parole. The governor then fired 5 parole board members and selected replacements. After that, Arnie received an unfavorable vote in March 2011, and he was denied another hearing request in March 2013. Arnie is responsible for killing a man in 1971, when he was 18 and had been drinking and drugging for several days. He has been clean for over 30 years now, obtained 3 college degrees, successfully completed more than 2 dozen weekend furloughs, participated in and created many support, rehabilitation, and education programs, and he remains very active in community service. Based on his age, the number of years he has served in prison, his level of educational achievement, and his community service while inside prison, Arnie is no longer a risk for danger to society. Over the years he has formed many significant bonds with people who are high achievers, and they support his reentry as a contributing member to society, including offers of employment and the prospects of becoming a taxpayer rather than costing the state $50,000/annually. Here are a few examples of support shown at Arnie's public hearings over the past 7 years: Charles Ogletree (Professor, Harvard Law), I have never seen anyone transform their life the way he has in the more than 40 years of service in prison. Gloria Fox (State Representative), I believe he is a changed man … and we support this commutation. Mel King (Professor Emeritus/MIT), What we need to see in this world is epitomized by Arnie and his change and behavior… Jill Soffiyah Elijah (Attorney), How many youth counselors have I met regularly, who have been impacted by Mr. King! Reverend William Dickerson (Greater Love Tabernacle), Arnie King is not the average inmate. He doesn’t play games. He is sincere. Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond (Bethel AME), I appreciate that he inspires young people to make the right choices and not simply scare them. We really need the voice and presence of Arnie King. Eva Clark (Executive Director, Judge Banks Community Justice Program), Nothing short of catastrophic illness would prevent me from being here today to support Arnie King. Lyn Levy (Executive Director, SPAN, Inc.), I met Arnie in 1976 and I will be one of the people holding his hand. Our agency will help him also. Dr. Fran Roznowski (Community Psychologist), I have known Arnie since 1979, and I will be joining many others to have his back. Robin Casarjian (Executive Director, Lion Heart Foundation), For 15 years, he showed up with a sense of purpose and encouraged other prisoners to participate in group activities. Bob David (Side By Side Community Circle), Of the large numbers of disciplinary reports, some may be questionable, while other were earned. Paul Marcus (Executive Director, Community Change Inc.), What Arnie’s life means to me is the power of transformation, and society needs to see this example. Abrigal Forrester (Street Safe Boston), I’m here as a product of Arnie King. Hope – Lifeline – Redemption. He engaged the ignorance within me and told me I had value. Peter McGuane (Student, Truck Driver), I was in for involuntary manslaughter, and he got me active with Prison Voices, which I continued upon release. I’m honored to be here for Arnie. Paule Verdet (Professor Emeritus/BU), It’s a way of life for Arnie. He is a superb model. Becky Thompson (Professor/Simmons College), Recognizing Mr. King as a man worthy of commutation, no one benefits if the policy exists theoretically but is never granted. Felix Arroyo, Sr. (former Boston City Councillor), The first time I met Mr. King, I was with his brother. I wondered about him and found a calm person, at peace with himself. We have a recourse… ‘cause I know it will help our community. Nancy Murray (ACLU), Why is the community present? We are interested in redemption… He couldn’t bring back the life, but he would do what he could to try to prevent others from going down that path. George Lee (Community Organizer), I heard a lot about him. He wasn’t about tooting his own horn. He was present for young folks and the other men. Seth Kirshenbaum (Director, The City School), Having Arnie with us in the community will help save young lives, and we have a job or volunteer opportunity for him. Banjineh Brown (Boston School Teacher), He works with prevention. The “Arnie” factor is about redemption, and we use him as a case study. He is an entrepreneur activist. Jason Lydon (Minister), Through Barbed Wire has been quite active at the Community Church of Boston. Aaron Tanaka (Boston Workers Alliance), I hope you will see his deep commitment to change and rehabilitation. Dianne Zimbabwe (Community Artist/Educator), My involvement with Through Barbed Wire allows me to witness the positive impact of Arnie’s community endeavors. Miriam Ortiz (Executive Director, Boston Parents Organizing Network), Arnie King has been an asset to us and students benefit from his example. Daniel King (Brother), I was a 16 year old teenager in 1971. We have prayed for the family of John Labanara for comfort and peace, and we hope for their forgiveness. Marva King (Sister), It matters that we heal together. Eddie Berkin (Attorney), People are much more friends than supporters. Because they are friends, they are also supporters. Margaret Burnham (Attorney), Your legal obligation is to review and decide whether this man has made exceptional strides in development. Walt Silva, Ed D (Professor Emeritus/BU), Arnie is the classic example of prison injustice gone way over the top. He's jumped through every hoop, made every effort to contribute to the community from behind bars more than anyone else that I have known in my 25 years involved in prison higher education, and remains in prison at a cost of what - $60,000 + a year when he could be out contributing and paying taxes with zero threat to anyone? I have written to Governor Patrick more than once, concerning parole in general and Arnie specifically. If Arnie King doesn't qualify for commutation, then who does? It sends a sad message back to the prison population. If Arnie doesn't get a consideration, what's the sense of trying? But I'm sure Arnie doesn't feel that way, and will continue to keep contributing from behind bars. Imagine what he could do if he were out. He's paid his dues several times over. Arnie is the 3rd of 9 children through which many grandchildren and great grandchildren are a major part of this family circle. I complete 82 years of living this month, full of tremendous joys and blessings. However, this journey will be incomplete until I’m able to welcome Arnie’s return to the world community. My son has been inside Massachusetts prisons for the 1971 murder of another human being. He was 18, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, in Boston, and responsible for the death of this young man. Our entire family-and-friends network was devastated, as well as that of the Labanara family. After Arnie was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, without parole, I traveled to Massachusetts with his younger brothers and sisters to visit him in the maximum security prison. I told him that “God would not forsake him and neither would our family-and-friends community”. Arnie has grown, matured, and progressed during this lengthy period of imprisonment. He obtained 3 college degrees, created major rehabilitative programs within the prison and offered services to communities beyond the walls. He has been encouraged by many people, while inspiring the success of others. By examining the volumes of documents, transcripts, and opinions, it will become clear - the need to support the eventual release of my son. God Bless and One Love! Please sign the petition and encourage your family members and friends to support this effort. - Mary King
Petition to Terry McAuliffe
Give Nick a second chance.
On December 12, 2008, 15-year-old Nick Robinson’s life changed forever. That night, Nick was arrested for a local robbery. He thought because he was just a kid, the court would go easy on him. Instead, Nick was sentenced to 68 years with a mandatory minimum of 33 years to be served in the adult penal system for his involvement. I used to work as a correctional officer in Nick’s unit and his case stuck with me. Here we had this charismatic and determined 15-year-old kid who had made a huge mistake, but instead of teaching him how to be a productive member of society by treating his criminality with intensive programming and therapy offered to juvenile offenders, he was thrown away into a predatory adult penal system. Nick will be almost 50 years-old when he is finally released. The sentence was overkill and Nick deserves a second chance! Since his incarceration Nick has transformed his life and has accomplished many great things. In addition to obtaining his GED and working towards a degree in Business Administration, Nick co-founded Universal Community Developers (UCD) and serves as Executive Director. This community-based nonprofit which aims to curb juvenile delinquency by getting kids active in their community. Please join me in asking Governor Terry McAuliffe to give Coker Nicholas Robinson a second chance and grant him clemency. I feel that society is better served by having him a part of the community. If you feel that this young man deserves a second chance, then please sign our petition.
Petition to Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
Keep the man who bombed a church and killed four girls behind bars
On September 15, 1963, an African-American church was bombed, killing 4 girls: Addie Mae Collins, 14; Cynthia Wesley, 14; Carole Robertson, 14; and Carol Denise McNair, 11. The act of violence griped the country. Now, the last surviving man convicted of the bombing is up for parole and your help is needed to make sure he doesn’t go free. Thomas E. Blanton Jr. was one of three men convicted of the bombing. The Klansman was only brought to justice in 2001, decades after the girls lost their lives. For years, Blanton lived free while loved ones mourned and wondered if the people behind the bombing would ever pay for their heinous crime. 15 years in prison is not punishment enough for perpetrating a hate crime that cost four girls their lives. Tell the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles to deny Thomas Blanton Jr. parole. After you sign, take additional action by contacting The Alabama Board of Pardons and ParolesPO Box 302405Montgomery, Al 36130-2405, (334) 353-7771
Petition to Barack Obama
President Obama – Corey Jacobs Does Not Deserve To Die in Prison
My nephew, Corey Jacobs, is serving a life without parole sentence for his role in a non-violent drug conspiracy. Corey’s involvement in the conspiracy occurred when he was in his early twenties. This case is his first ever felony conviction. Corey was very young and by no stretch a drug kingpin. Absolutely no aspect of the conspiracy was violent. Despite the federal government not finding of any drugs, weapons, or large sums of money, my nephew was sentenced to life in prison. His conviction was based primarily on the self-serving testimony of co-defendants, who testified against him in exchange for reduced sentences of their own. Corey is truly remorseful for all the harm his unwise choices caused to all those affected. He does not make excuses and accepts full responsibility for his actions. Corey has remained positive and worked extremely hard to better himself. During the 16 years of his incarceration, he has received over 100 certificates, including numerous courses to substantially enhance his education, and completed 3 major residential programs. Life in prison without the possibility of parole is, short of execution, the harshest imaginable punishment available in America. It screams a person is beyond hope, beyond redemption. It rips away any chance of reconciliation with society and gives no chance of fulfillment outside the prison walls. And, in Corey’s case, it is grossly out of proportion to the conduct it seeks to punish. This fundamental death sentence should not be imposed on non-violent drug offenders. Notable Support Federal drug laws were mandatory at the time Corey was sentenced, meaning the judge had no choice but to send Corey to prison for the rest of his life. Notably, the same judge who sentenced Corey to life in prison – supports Corey’s request for clemency. The judge confirms he is “certain” he would not have imposed a life sentence on Corey had federal laws, at the time, “not virtually mandated it.” Corey Jacobs is ready for freedom. My nephew has shown tremendous dedication to bettering himself and was disproportionately sentenced to life in prison under laws that have since been reformed. Corey has more than paid the price for the crime he was convicted of by serving the past 16 years in prison. He is well prepared for release to meaningfully contribute to society. President Obama can literally save his life. Corey’s clemency petition is filed with the Office of the Pardon Attorney. President Obama has granted commutations to a total of 187 deserving people – showing he is committed to restoring the sense of fairness at the heart of our justice system. It is my daily prayer that the President continues to show mercy and that my nephew is added to the President’s clemency list. He is a great man with a compassionate spirit and is always reaching out from within to make a difference in people’s lives. My life goal is to see Corey regain his freedom. Corey was my sister’s only child and his grandmother’s only grandchild. Both have since passed away. Our family misses him dearly. It is my hope and prayer that he is reunited with his children. Please help me urge President Obama to grant Corey’s pending clemency petition. A life sentence, assuring Corey will die in federal prison for a non-violent drug offense – his first felony conviction, is too heavy a burden. Thank you in advance for your merciful consideration to help save Corey’s life. More information about Corey's story and additional ways you can help can be found at www.iamcoreyjacobs.com. Follow @FreeCoreyJacobs on Twitter.
Petition to Richard Scott, Brad King, Peter Magrino
Justice for Katherine Bryan Hoover and Baby Rehlin
My Story: On July 26, 2014, my 25-year-old daughter Katherine Bryan Hoover and her husband went to visit her husband's friend, 35-year-old William DeHayes, at his home in Brooksville, Florida. During their visit, DeHayes decided to show off his gun collection. His subsequent recklessly negligent actions would prove fatal to my daughter, as well as to her unborn son, Rehlin. My devastated family and I are seeking justice on their behalf. Here's what happened that horrible day. When DeHayes began showing off his gun collection, he checked the first several guns to ensure they weren't loaded. But when he pulled out his .22 caliber revolver, he neither checked to see if the safety was on, nor if it was loaded--an act of complete and utter negligence. While showing off this unchecked .22 caliber revolver to his visitors, DeHayes began twirling the revolver in his hand like a gunslinger, in an incredibly cavalier manner ("kinda like a cowboy would," he later told police). He was pointing the revolver in Katherine's direction. The gun was cocked and loaded. As DeHayes twirled it on his finger, it discharged, shooting Katherine in the head. Katherine was rushed to the hospital, where she died a few hours later. Doctors delivered her unborn son, Rehlin, via emergency C-section, but as he was only at 5 months' gestation, he lived a mere 30 minutes before dying, as well. My family and I are bereft at these senseless, tragic, and completely preventable losses. I rushed to the hospital to be at Katherine's side, and I cannot tell you how traumatic the entire experience was. I've never seen so much blood before in my life as I did that night. Watching my baby girl leave this world and remembering the joy of when she came into this world, I thought I was going to die right there beside her. I begged and pleaded with the doctors to save her, even though I knew in my head that they couldn't do anything for her. My heart just couldn't accept it. Katherine also left behind a beautiful little boy, Nicholas, who is 6. He will have to endure a lifetime without his loving, devoted mother--all because of DeHayes' negligence. Making matters worse, because investigators say that Katherine's death was due to an "accidental shooting," they have declined to charge DeHayes, despite the fact that drug paraphernalia (specifically, a bong) was at the crime scene--and despite the fact that DeHayes essentially admitted in his interview with the Hernando County sheriff to a pattern of negligence. According to a recording of his interview obtained by the Daily Beast, he told the sheriff: "I haven’t slept in three days trying to figure out how the hell [the gun] went off. I don’t know. I mean them damn guns. The shotgun goes off when it wants to. I almost blew my damn head off twice." Excuse me, but shotguns don't go off when they "want" to. Shotguns go off when their owners are negligent. Full stop. Despite this damning evidence of repeated negligence, and despite the fact that there are children in DeHayes' home who might be at risk, officials not only refused to arrest or charge him: they also gave him his guns back, without so much as a slap on the wrist. I am shocked, appalled, and devastated at how the judicial system has failed us. In fact, I feel like I am going crazy. How is it that DeHayes' right to own and play recklessly with his guns trumps my daughter's right to life? If a person drowns a dog, charges are filed. Is not my daughter's life, and that of her baby, worth more than that of a dog? How can this be? Please, help us secure justice for Katherine and Rehlin. Please prosecute DeHayes for involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, and/or other appropriate charges, and give him a trial before a jury of his peers. As his pattern of recklessness demonstrates, he is a menace to society. He deserves to be prosecuted for his unconscionable actions that proved fatal to Katherine and Rehlin. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Donna Bryan bereaved mother of Katherine Bryan Hoover
Petition to Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Governor, Virginia State House, Virginia State Senate
Keep killer Joseph G. Sikes Jr. in prison!
Please sign our petition and share it. Joseph G. Sikes Jr. had a hand in brutally killing two teenagers over a small bag of pot in 1996. The murder was done in front of a toddler and was carried out in true gangster thuggery form. I can remember the day well, Krissy's mother not being able to go home because of her daughters blood spilled out all over the floor. Truly, she had to move and spend many years suffering tremendously because of the loss of her precious only daughter. Roberts family had it no easier. The family of Joseph G. Sikes Jr. is trying to have him pardoned. They feel he has been in prison long enough and has not had a chance to even start his life. They say "His incarceration has been a hardship on his family. The time and travel expense to see him, the financial burden it imposed to provide him with basic necessities." They selfishly overlook the families who children were brutally murderd. I ask you, is that not the ultimate hardship? They have the option and may choose to spend the time and expense to go visit Sikes in prison. The other families will never, never mind you, see Krissy or Robert again this side of heaven! They do not have the luxury of seeing or helping Krissy or Robert with basic needs (which I'm sure the state provides for Sikes) because Sikes stole the basic need of life its self from them. We all do things we wish we never had, me included. But there are very few of us that take the life of another in cold calculated murder! The things we do bad, we suffer the consequences. To cut Sikes sentence in half and let him out now would be like saying "It was along time ago he was young and foolish. He is not the same anymore." I hope for his sake that he is not. However, Krissy and Robert are still the same, GONE! Leaving family and friends scard for life. Sikes has a debt to pay to society and I, along with many others, are part of that society. I do not want to be short changed! Mr. Sikes and his family are blessed to still have his life. Sometimes you have to make the best of what you have and the Sikes have everything. That's more than Krissy and Robert's family have, who had it all taken from them! Please do not allow Mr. Sikes out of prison until his debt is paid in full. It would make justice look cheap! I believe in forgiveness and restoration. However, I also would like to believe that American Justice is still honored in the great state of Virginia. So as honorable members of Virginia's government, I along with other voters, hope you will serve justice. Allow Mr Sikes to serve his time. Do not grant him a pardon!
Petition to Virginia Court
Getting my husband home
Thank you in advance for reading and helping anyway you can. I'm doing this on behalf of my husband. Back in 2005 he did commit a crime of burglary. He's a non violent offender meaning he doesn't hurt anyone physically in his crime. What did happen is he did this crime with others and he was a black man in Winchester VA. This was a high profile case because his codefendants did the unthinkable by raping a woman that was there. My husband saw this and starting fighting the people off of her. She wanted to help my husband in his case, her statement was never used, forensics showed he didn't do it and that he didn't use a gun. The DA wanted him to take a deal or they would give him the max on everything no matter what he did or didn't do. Well that's exactly what they did they gave him 53 years with 30 suspended and he also has to be on probation for 5 years once he's released. The girl he helped wrote a letter and thanked him and he sent to the governor and they said they would investigate and a year later sent him a letter saying they couldn't do anything. His case shows discrepancies and we can prove it we just want someone to take the time and read it and help us. Please share, sign whatever you can to get to as many people as we can and maybe it will get to the right person.
Petition to Chris Christie, Stephen Sweeney, Paul Fishman, Vincent Prieto
Give this ex-offender a second chance, grant my pardon.
I have dedicated my adult life to helping others, so they can pursue their happiest lives possible. But now I need your help, and a pardon from Governor Christie, so that I, too, can pursue my happiness. More than two decades ago, I made serious errors in judgment. I was a gambling addict, and in order to feed my addiction, I planned to sell drugs. Thankfully, I was caught before I did any real damage to myself or anyone else. The day I got caught was one of the greatest reliefs of my life. But in the state of New Jersey, felonies stay on your record for life, and the drug felony I received back then has continued to haunt me to this day. I believe it’s time I had a second chance. Help me urge Governor Christie to sign my application for a pardon. He has been known to speak passionately about giving ex-offenders a second chance at becoming productive citizens. I am the perfect example of what an ex-offenders can accomplish. Unfortunately, with this felony on my record, my life remains limited, and I am not free to pursue my dreams. Please sign my petition. After my one year in prison, I discovered just how difficult it is to re-enter society. I was unable to get an apartment, or most jobs. Eligibility for financial aid for schooling was hard to come by because of my conviction, so I initially chose community college, where I graduated in the top 1% of my class and earned Permanent President List. Through dedication and hard work, I was accepted to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. I graduated in 2003 in the top 5% of my class, having paid my own way through school. Through determination and my business acumen, I have been able to overcome many of the economic obstacles created by my conviction. I have been a successful entrepreneur and created jobs for New Jersey's economy. However, I have not been able to overcome some major obstacles in my personal life. I met my wife abroad, and as a result of my criminal record', I am unable to accompany her back home for more than 30 days. Essentially, my conviction from 23 years ago has robbed me of my freedom to pursue happiness with my wife and her family. While few would argue that I have turned my life around, my record keeps turning the clock back on my life. The irony here is that the harder I’ve worked to better myself, the more my criminal record has hurt me. Please sign my petition asking Gov. Christie to follow through on his promise to give ex-offenders a second chance. I have paid my dues, contributed to society and helped keep others from falling through the cracks I, myself, fell down. Tell Gov. Christie to do the right thing and grant me a pardon. Video Please From Gary E. Meyer