Topic

release prisoner

19 petitions

Update posted 1 month 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
79,765 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, Oklahoma Former Governor Brad Henry, The Oklahoman, Tulsa World, KFOR-TV Channel 4, KOCO-TV Channel 5, Gary Richardson

Free Daniel Holtzclaw, an innocent man wrongfully convicted!

On Jan. 21, 2016, our son, brother, and friend Daniel Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma City police officer, was sentenced to 263 years in prison after a jury wrongfully convicted him of sexually assaulting seven women and one teenager, despite the fact that no physical evidence of crime was found, patrol car Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) data failed to match crucial accusations, numerous discrepancies occurred in the accusers' testimony, and detectives gathered almost all of the accusers (ten out of thirteen) by selectively seeking out and questioning only African American women with histories of prostitution or drug use with whom Daniel had interacted during his routine police duties. Daniel Holtzclaw is innocent and was wrongfully convicted of crimes he never committed. Daniel put his life on the line daily as a police officer for the justice he served and also deserved in his trial but was denied. Please sign our petition to urge Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, former Governor Brad Henry, and Oklahoma news media to investigate the police misconduct and mishandling of Daniel's case that led to his convictions for multiple sexual assaults he did not commit, and to respectfully request that Governor Fallin grant clemency by exonerating Daniel because he is innocent.  You can learn more about who Daniel Holtzclaw is by visiting www.holtzclawtrial.com. The evidence supports Daniel's innocence. The only forensic finding linking Daniel to any accuser in the entire trial was DNA from a 17-year-old teenager who said the officer searched her purse, pat searched her, then raped her, yet the prosecution's own DNA analyst acknowledged the evidence was consistent with non-intimate, indirect transfer of skin cell DNA, such as from the purse to the officer's hands, then to his uniform pants while using the restroom. The State's forensic analyst failed to disclose during the trial that all four DNA samples from the fly of the uniform pants also included DNA from at least one male, which supports the non-intimate transfer explanation. The DNA did NOT derive from semen.  No DNA matching any other accuser besides the 17-year-old girl was found on the fly of Daniel's uniform pants, which police detectives took on June 18, 2014, along with his belt as their only evidence from Daniel. This was just hours after Daniel's night shift during which detectives eventually claimed he sexually assaulted not just the teenager through the unzipped fly of the buckled uniform pants, but also two other individuals including Jannie Ligons, whose unsubstantiated accusations sparked the investigation targeting Daniel. No vaginal fluid was seen on the fly of Daniel's uniform pants by the State's forensic analyst, who used a very bright light and a magnifying glass. Only the fly area of Daniel's uniform pants was tested for DNA, and the uniform pants were NOT tested for saliva, semen, or vaginal fluid to determine the source of the DNA, even though “in legal proceedings, a proper and reliable determination of the source of isolated DNA is essential and an error in identification may result in grave legal consequences” (Jakubowska et al. (2011) Problems of Forensic Sciences, 87: 204-215).  Despite these facts, Prosecutor Gayland Gieger claimed falsely during his closing argument that it was a "fact" that DNA from the walls of the teenager's vagina "was transferred in vaginal fluids" (Transcript p. 4307). Prosecutor Gieger also claimed falsely after the trial that "the skin cells were transferred through the body fluids of a 17-year-old girl after he raped her. That's what the evidence was, that's what the jury heard, and certainly that's what they convicted him of. They [the defense] tried to explain DNA from a 17-year-old girl that ends up inside his pants at the areas where his privates are. Quite frankly, their explanation was not believable because you can't explain that" (Erielle Reshef, KOKO 5 News, "Prosecutors who helped convict Daniel Holtzclaw speak,” Feb. 5, 2016). In reality, article after article has shown that skin cell DNA can transfer indirectly ("secondary" or "tertiary" transfer) from a person, via intermediaries, to an object without any direct contact. If DNA on the fly of your pants were evidence of a crime, then every one of us could be convicted. As early as 2010, forensic researchers reported their discovery that DNA can transfer from a woman through non-intimate social contact to a man's hands, and then to his underpants and even genitals during urination, such that her DNA will be found on a penile swab (Hulme, J. (2010) Science and Justice, 50: 100-109). This research was recently corroborated by Jones et al. (2016) DNA transfer through nonintimate social contact, Science and Justice, 56: 90-95. Prosecutor Gieger not only misrepresented the DNA evidence from the 17-year-old girl, but also did not fully inform the jury about exculpatory evidence that challenged her credibility. Just months after the teenager accused Daniel of sexually assaulting her, this same young woman, A.G., was arrested for using a machete to attack a man on June 10, 2015, after she claimed to police that the man had used the weapon to assault her but “police were not convinced she was telling the truth since she did not appear to have any injuries” (Dallas Franklin, KFOR.com, “Man allegedly attacked at home, 2 arrested,” June 11, 2015). A.G., who similarly accused Daniel of a heinous crime, was booked for assault with a deadly weapon, and on April 18, 2016, she pleaded guilty to two other violent crimes, including domestic assault and battery (Muskogee OK - Case CM-2015-00199 and Case CF-2016-00031). None of the accusations against Daniel Holtzclaw were supported by any solid evidence of crime. No evidence, for example, supported the first accusation targeting Daniel, which occurred on June 18, 2014, when Daniel performed an off-duty traffic stop of the swerving car with tinted windows that prevented him from seeing the occupant at 2 a.m. that morning. The driver, Jannie Ligons, had lacked a valid license for more than 30 years and later admitted to police that, before driving, she had taken sleep-inducing PM medication and smoked marijuana, which can cause paranoia and hallucinations. She said she placed her hands on the hood of the patrol car while Daniel pat searched her, then she sat in the backseat of the patrol car. Here, she said, Daniel procured lewd exhibition and orally sodomized her through the fly of his pants, with his hands on the car's roof. She also said that Daniel touched her phone. The SANE exam of Jannie Ligons came back negative. No DNA, sperm, or seminal fluid from Daniel was found in or around Ms. Ligons' mouth. Ms. Ligons' DNA was not found on the fly of his uniform pants. No fingerprints or DNA from Ms. Ligons or Daniel were found on the patrol car's hood or roof to corroborate her claims. No DNA from Daniel was found on her phone, but the DNA from Ms. Ligons and some unknown individual was, showing that DNA does indeed transfer from people to things they touch. No pubic hair or DNA from Daniel was found inside the patrol car, and the surveillance video of the traffic stop, which was too far away to display fine details, showed no wrongdoing. Although the police detectives were investigating a sexual assault, the only evidence they took from Daniel was his uniform pants and belt. Detectives did not even take Daniel's underwear, and they never issued a search warrant for his home, personal car, or phone to obtain evidence which could have been used to help support Daniel's innocence. What the male detective did do is put his bare hand in the evidence bag, which can lead to DNA contamination. Daniel answered all the detectives' questions and asked them to analyze his DNA as quickly as possible so that he could clear his name. Daniel also agreed to take a polygraph test, an offer that the jury was never allowed to hear. Daniel Holtzclaw has maintained his innocence since the very beginning, June 18, 2014, when police detectives first questioned Daniel and claimed, untruthfully, that they had found pubic hairs in his patrol car and had incriminating surveillance video of the traffic stop Daniel performed that morning at the end of his shift. Despite the lack of evidence, and even though Ms. Ligons had no history of criminal convictions or warrants for her arrest and the traffic stop of her car with dark-tinted windows at night could not have resulted from any knowledge that the occupant was African American, police detectives concocted a theory that Daniel targeted African American women with histories of prostitution and drugs such that they would be too afraid to report alleged sexual crimes for fear of not being believed. Police detectives then searched for more accusers by selectively contacting over 40 African American females with histories of prostitution or drug arrests with whom Daniel had interacted during his routine police duties, which often involved intervening in cases of drug use and prostitution in the lower income neighborhood he patrolled.  Any black woman who had been stopped by Daniel because of her drug use or prostitution would have a chance to make allegations against the young police officer who had tried to halt her criminal activities.  ALMOST 98% OF THE INDIVIDUALS QUESTIONED BY DETECTIVES WERE AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALES, showing that detectives, not Daniel, were the ones who targeted black females with criminal histories of prostitution or drug use. Detectives solicited testimony by telling these women that police had received a “tip” that the women “may have been sexually assaulted by a police officer,” which was blatant leading of potential witnesses. In one case, the police detective actually called the officer a "very bad guy" with "lots of victims" before a woman identified him after she first denied seven times that any officer had treated her inappropriately, and she stated, "There's only one officer that I know a few years back: he was a black cop, he used to come around here, and he exposed his self to me." The police department and news media at this time were also broadcasting information about Daniel as a suspect, including showing his face, such that the people in the neighborhood he had patrolled knew he was under suspicion.  In this wrongful manner that encouraged false allegations, the police thus found 10 individuals, including the 17-year-old A.G., who made accusations that were used to charge Daniel with sexual assault.  This gave a total of 13 accusers including the three black women who reported a crime on their own:  the initial female driver (Jannie Ligons, whose allegations were never substantiated), another woman who came forward to claim the officer had sexually assaulted her in the hospital room after she overdosed on PCP (Daniel was found not guilty of her accusations), and a third woman who reported that she had been sexually assaulted but could not positively identify the officer (Daniel was also found not guilty of her accusations).  Seven other individuals, including one man, claimed the officer had sexually assaulted them, but their allegations were deemed too absurd or simply impossible (such as not matching Daniel's work schedule) to result in charges, and they recanted when confronted with evidence that they were lying. One of those individuals, Shaneice Barksdale, admitted in a videotaped police interview that she had made up her allegations to try to help the case and was convicted of falsely reporting a crime (State of Oklahoma v. Shaneice Barksdale, Case No. CM-2015-1413). Research by acclaimed eyewitness expert, Dr. Gary L. Wells, has shown that eyewitnesses' memories of events can be altered by suggestion and positive feedback, often leading to wrongful convictions. The validity of accusers' testimony in Daniel's trial should not have been accepted as fact, not only because of the leading, suggestive manner in which police detectives found accusers until they had a total of thirteen, but also because at least five of the accusers knew each other, and many of the women were using hallucinogenic drugs (cocaine, crack, PCP, marijuana) at the time they alleged Daniel assaulted them, which could cause them to accuse an innocent man of actions he did not commit. Major inconsistencies existed in the accusers' testimony that ruled Daniel out as a suspect. For example, one woman, S.E., stated that her assailant was a short black man who stopped his patrol car in a public park/abandoned school yard, and then raped her for 5-10 minutes. Yet Daniel Holtzclaw is a tall, light-skinned, Japanese American man, and, significantly, the AVL/GPS evidence from Daniel's patrol car shows that it could only have been motionless in the school yard for less than 4 minutes, simply not enough time to do as was alleged. Nevertheless, Daniel was found guilty of her accusations. Another woman, R.G., with multiple felony convictions, said that the officer orally sodomized her on a day when she was getting high off of crack cocaine, and she said she wiped Daniel's alleged secretions from the oral sodomy onto her chair, yet Daniel's DNA was not found on the woman's chair, while the DNA from two other men was. Despite this lack of evidence, Daniel was found guilty of forcible oral sodomy.  We believe the legal system has failed Daniel miserably and a travesty of justice has occurred. You can learn more about the injustices in Daniel's trial by visiting www.HoltzclawTrial.com, a website created by former defense private investigator, Brian Bates, who is now posting online the facts presented in open court that the media did not report. Daniel's sister, Jenny Holtzclaw, has also created a webpage www.justicefordanielholtzclaw.com where donations for Daniel's appeal are gratefully being accepted as well as at www.FreeDanielHoltzclaw.com Please sign our petition urging Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, former Gov. Brad Henry, and Oklahoma news media to investigate the police misconduct and mishandling of Daniel's case that led to his convictions for multiple sexual assaults he did not commit, and respectfully requesting that Governor Fallin grant clemency by exonerating Daniel because he is innocent. Daniel belongs with his family, not in prison for crimes he never committed. Please help right this wrong by signing our petition to free Daniel Holtzclaw. Sincerely and with our deepest gratitude, Daniel's family and friends

Daniel Holtzclaw's Family and Friends
12,274 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to United States Supreme Court, Brian Sandoval

Release Herbie Moore

My husband Herbie  was arrested in June of 2010 for a murder he did not commit. As of January 2017 a man by the name Brian Porter confessed to the murder that my husband was arrested for and wrote a confession and had it notarized and sent it into the state district attorney. Being that somebody else confessed to the murder and my husband is still being held in Ely State Prison. My husband has lost 7 years of his life for a murder he did not commit we have evidence of the police threatening the witnesses if they did not come in lie on the stand during trial. There was no DNA evidence nothing. My husband was not picked out of a lineup but the other man that confessed was picked out of a lineup as a man who committed the murder. After the man confessed to the murder there was an appeal and my husband was denied release even though the man wrote a detailed confession as to what happened before during and after. Please sign this petition to help my husband come home to his family and his kids and his mother. His mother is battling illnesses and this is a time he needs to be with her. I have attempted to go through Channel 13 and channel Fox 5 news they both wrote stories on my husband and drag his name through the dirt and I try to have them correct it and they are ignoring me http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/14792889/man-charged-in-shooting-near-stratosphere-6-11-2010

Star-Patricia Moore
457 supporters
Started 10 months ago

Petition to Cecil Thomas, John Kasich, Ohio State Senate

Pass Senate Bill 272

Juvenile defendants that are held passed 40 years of age, for charges they faced when they were under the age of 18. Passing this bill will allow people who have been given life and max sentences to have a life out side of incarceration since they have been incarcerated since before their 18th birthday.  This bill will personally affect me and my family due to my husband being incarcerated since before he was 18, his 40th birthday comes up in December and by this bill being passed he will be able to come home and have a life with me and our families, he has served more than half his life now in the Ohio prison system, as many with loved ones in prison and jail we only want them home, my husband has seen and experienced many things during his incarceration that has evolved him into the man he is now, he is old enough and has the mentality that he wants to be home and experience life he was put into a system of down fall before he could even get his first job or experience life in his 20's,30's, and now if this bill still gets left untouched the way that Ohio Senate and House is leaving on the shelf unfortunately he will see his 40th birthday in prison which he should not have to he has served over half his life to the Ohio prison system and he has learned the lesson from a mistake he made as juvenile. Men like my husband that has had so many years taken from them should be given the opportunity to thrive in life and experience the world since our courts took it from them so many years ago. This bill is Ohio Senate Bill 272 

Barbara Holmes
280 supporters