Topic

Prison Sentencing

57 petitions

Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Pennsylvania State Senate, Daylin Leach, Christine Tartaglione, Donald White, Pat Toomey

SUPPORT PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR DAYLIN LEACH, SIGN SENATE BILL 293 ( SB293) NOW!!!

Senator Leach stated " I have introduced legislation to eliminate murder of the second degree from Pennsylvania law. Also known as the "Felony Murder" doctrine, a murder of the second degree occurs when a criminal homicide is committed while an offender is engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony. In other words, if more than one person is involved in the perpetration of a felony, each person involved shall be held responsible for a criminal homicide that occurs as a result. A guilty verdict for murder of the second degree carries a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. An example of how this might play out is as follows: Assume two people agree that they will go to a convenience store, and Person A will wait for the cash drawer to open, and grab the cash. Person B will wait outside and drive the getaway car. Person A goes into the store and, instead of grabbing the cash, pulls out a gun and shoots the clerk behind the counter, killing the clerk. Under current law, Person B would be guilty of second-degree murder even though he or she did not kill anyone, and even though he or she had no knowledge that Person A would kill the clerk, or intended to shoot anyone, or even possessed a gun. This is not only an injustice, it undermines the basic notion of criminal law that we punish people for the crimes they commit or intend to commit. This doctrine leads to unjust results, including cases where the person who actually commits the murder is punished less than the person who did not kill anyone. The cost to the taxpayers of exacting such disproportionate and unjustified punishment is enormous." This bill would, of course, continue to permit the punishment of any defendant for any other crime they commit or intend to commit. If you have questions about this legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Jon Tew, at jtew@pasenate.com or 610-768-4200. ************************************************************************************************ GEORGE TRUDEL, INMATE # AS-2262 SERVING HIS 29TH YEAR OF LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE @ SCI GRATERFORD, is the perfect example of why you should sign SB293. George Trudel was convicted of second-degree felony murder when he was at the scene of a fatal stabbing on November 14, 1986, with Robert " Bobby" Barrett" who was the admitted murderer in the case. Robert Barrett took a plea bargain because he was the murderer, and served only 7 years and was released from prison. George Trudel pleaded not guilty because he didn't kill anyone. He was found guilty and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. How can this be allowed to happen? The murderer does less time in prison than the person who was with him at the scene? PLEASE SIGN the petition supporting Senator Daylin Leach and SB293! Thank you! CLICK ON LINKS BELOW, TO SIGN THE THREE PETITIONS THAT ARE DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THIS PETITION!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! https://www.change.org/p/29-years-is-long-enough-bring-him-home-to-his-family-please-governor-tom-wolf-grant-clemency-for-george-trudel?recruiter=429323154&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_petition https://www.change.org/p/pennsylvania-state-house-please-sign-and-support-hb135-introduced-by-pennsylvania-state-rep-jason-dawkins?recruiter=429323154&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=116934 https://www.change.org/p/tom-wolf-expand-the-commutation-system-in-pennsylvania?recruiter=429323154&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_petition  

Elizabeth Geyer
297 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

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. Myriam 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

Mary King
462 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Jerry Brown, Riverside County District Attorney

Justice for Jesse Meraz

To California Governor Jerry Brown and the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, Jesse Meraz is just a six-character inmate number. But to me he is a faithful, hard-working, loving husband and father. You see, Jesse was thrown back into prison even after serving his sentence and our family is in a tail spin. Jesse made some bad decisions when he was a kid and before he even went to his first middle school dance, like too many men of color he was just another statistic in the criminal justice system. Jesse and I make no excuses for his bad behavior. He was hanging out with the wrong crowd, skipping school, and doing drugs. It wasn’t long before he was arrested for possession of a firearm. By his mid-20s he had been accused of four felonies and was serving his sentences. Under California’s draconian three-strikes law, he was looking at a life sentence for the non-violent crimes he committed. But in 2014, a Court of Appeals, reversed two of the charges and Jesse was resentenced to what we all believed was the maximum sentence under the law. Since he had already served seven years, Jesse was released with probation. Jesse was 36-years-old when he left prison and he worked hard to make the most of his second chance. He got a job, a good union job as an ironworker with Local 433. That’s no small feat for someone with a criminal record. He remained drug-and-drink-free. He obeyed all laws, had zero run-ins with law enforcement, and fulfilled all the requirements of his probation. He had even began getting his tattoos removed with the help of Homeboy Industry in Los Angeles. As a family, we both worked hard to provide for our four kids. We are home owners and during the housing crunch when we fell behind on our payments, Jesse worked every day to get us caught up. We did not have to rely of government services for anything. We attended church regularly, made sure our kids did well in school, and we paid our taxes. We were productive members of our community and Jesse had finally put all the mistakes of the past behind him. Then suddenly in all came to an abrupt halt. The Riverside District Attorney (Indio office) filed a petition to reverse the appeal that got him out in 2014. At his court hearing, Jesse had more than 20 people show up to speak on his behalf and we also had character letters from several community members including the former Indio Chief of Police but the judge did not allow us to present anything. The District Attorney argued that Jesse should not benefit from the new laws and would have to be resentenced under the old three-strikes law. He was sentenced to 25-years-to-life. Jesse was placed back into custody on January 30, 2017. I have worked for Riverside County for almost a decade now. I believe in a rehabilitation system that punishes those who commit crimes and then allows that person to do their time and move on. Additionally, as a taxpayer, I do not want to have to pay for another inmate when he has already served his time and has a proven record of living as a productive member of society who is not reliant on the government dime. Please sign my petition to ask the court to reverse the latest sentence and release my husband. Our family wants to go on living our lives quietly and without fear of having to pay for my husband’s mistakes from his past. Sincerely,Guadalupe Meraz

Guadalupe Meraz
21,260 supporters