Topic

Wrongful Convictions

138 petitions

Update posted 23 hours ago

Petition to Ralph Northam, Mark Herring, Mark D. Obenshain, Tony Wilt, B.J. Rosen, Vered Rabia, Marvin Anderson, Dr. Eric Lander, Harold W. Clarke, Saman Aghaebrahim, Clark Mercer, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Kelly Thomasson

Help Bring Dustin Home

Anthony Dustin McMillan has been sitting in prison for the last 16 years with another decade looming over his head. He has a son who was born the same year he was sentenced, and has never gotten to raise him as he so desperately wants. All the other defendants are out of prison right now. In 2000 Dustin took in a friend who was homeless. Unfortunately, his new friend had a drug addiction and as it turned out later, this former friend was convicted of robbery and several incidents of vandalism, for which a detective claimed Dustin was also present. A short time after this person was arrested, the detective arrested Dustin and assumed guilt by association, despite two alibis stating he was home with them. Dustin was convicted of the robbery that took place in Penn Laird, Virginia on the primary evidence that a detective claimed Dustin gave a full confession that Dustin participated in the crimes. However, the detective did not record the alleged confession; he did not have Dustin fill out a Miranda written statement document; nor did he have Dustin sign the detective's own hand written notes that the detective took during the alleged confession. Furthermore, the detective destroyed the hand written notes that had been taken during the alleged confession the day after the notes were written (even though the detective claims he normally saves his notes until after a case is closed). Dustin claimed he asked for a lawyer during initial questioning; the detective said Dustin did not. The eye-witness clerk at the convenience store could not identify Dustin as being there. The finger print evidence came back inconclusive, but only after that part of the trial was over. The pants the prosecution was going to use to tie Dustin to the crime had to be thrown out as evidence because no one was wearing pants like those during the robbery, the eye witness and video footage proved.  Due to judiciary time limits Dustin is virtually barred from relief through court proceedings. In Dustin's case he was forced to prove he did not confess to a crime he did not commit. Is this justice? Recently the Innocence Project had to close a year-long investigation into Dustin's case because there was no newly discovered evidence that could get him back into court. They reached out to the co-defendant who said he would make it up to Dustin and state the truth: that Dustin was not in fact there, but he became unreachable. It was pointed out to Dustin by the Innocence Project Rep that all the errors in his case are in violation of laws and rights, but it was on his lawyer at the beginning of his case in 2001 to cite and properly handle, a lawyer who has had disciplinary review and charged with several drug charges over the years. Dustin was even told that from the prosecution’s point of view a violation of Dustin's rights is "a means to justify the ends". In the time Dustin has spent in prison he has completed his G.E.D., he has completed the Custodial Maintenance and Carpentry vocational trade programs. He has not committed any acts of violence while incarcerated, remaining on good behavior with no ties to gangs.  Dustin has remained employed almost every day since 2004, doing jobs ranging from houseman (equivalent to a janitor), library aide, Rosette Stone aide, Library clerk, and prison newsletter reporter/composer. Dustin has family and friends awaiting his return to the free world, many of whom will ensure an easy and productive transition back into society. He has a knack for creativity, building original design model robots out of cardboard and stuff that many would consider garbage. He has even made board games while incarcerated & has a list of ideas and products he intends to create in an effort to one day build a business that his family and friends can participate in, to build something that future generations of his family can build upon. One of the most important things that Dustin seeks to be involved in is the life of his son. Dustin has stated many times the trouble his heart feels at not having the opportunity to be a proper father.  He hopes to make up for this with his son when he is free. It is with this petition that we hope to find Dustin an early release from prison. He currently has a petition in for clemency to seek a reduction of his sentence to have two years left to serve. Again, it should be noted that the three other individuals involved in the case all received 16 years or less, and one individual had 5 separate cases and at least 6 more charges than Dustin.Those individuals are all free now, yet Dustin received 31 years and has many more to serve. You do not have to sign this petition because you have an opinion on Dustin's guilt or innocence, you can sign simply because you feel Dustin should be released from prison, that he has served enough time and deserves a second chance in free society. Please help bring Dustin home.  Any Questions you'd like to ask him directly: Anthony D. Mcmillan #1042366 LVCC 82-204 1607 Planters Rd. Lawrenceville, VA 23868-3350 Or on jpay.com, Inmate: Anthony McMillian (they spelled his name wrong- with an 'i'). If using jpay, out of courtesy please consider sending a prepaid stamp back. Also, facebook is not regularly used, but you can see his pictures and drawings: https://www.facebook.com/anthonydmcmillan

Alison Bruns
711 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Lashae Focusednready, LaToya Gray

Together in solidarity asking to grant Clemency for Michael Gardner wrongfully convicted

My brother is currently incarcerated, serving a 53-year sentence for robbery. He has been imprisoned for the past 21 years, forcing him to spend the remainder of his adolescent years and much of his adulthood in captivity. In January of 1998, Michael was brought into the Norfolk County Police Department by two detectives. While at the station, Michael was subject to beatings, repeatedly tortured, and coerced into admitting his    involvement in a string of robberies that he was not involved in. Michael cooperated with the detectives. He read and recited statements that had been presented to him by the detectives. Michael was told that he should make the statements sound as natural as possible in order to be given leniency.Because of this, Michael is requesting commutation. While being incarcerated, Michael has made many positive adjustments. He is the co-founder of Believe in Change, which is a foundation, and the co-author of a curriculum entitled Giving Girls a Voice. Also, Michael has been enrolled into several courses that would provide him with numerous certification, thus giving him many avenues of gaining employment upon his release. Currently, Michael is employed as a barber, which he enjoys. Once he is released, he plans to open his own business, where he will work as a barber, mentor troubled youth, and become more involved in his foundation.I pray that you can find it in your heart to forgive my brother and give him a second chance at life. Michael is capable of making positive contributions to society. Please sign this petition to help give Michael his second chance. 

Lashae Talley
321 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump

Please Grant Clemency to Robert Shipp

In 1993, at the age of 20, my brother Robert Shipp was indicted and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and cocaine. In 1994, he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He was involved in the drug conspiracy for only 5 months. This was Robert’s first drug offense and he doesn’t have a violent history.  At his sentencing hearing, Robert’s judge repeatedly verbalized his objections to the sentence that he was forced to give Robert. He explained that he had no choice but to give Robert a life sentence based on the Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines. He further explained that the law didn’t allow him to use discretion in the sentencing. He also noted that the cocaine suppliers plead guilty and received 12 and 14 years for supplying the cocaine in this conspiracy.   While Robert takes full responsibility for his participation in the criminality that resulted in his incarceration, I think it is important to share with you what led this honor student down this path. When Robert was in high school our brother was stabbed to death at the age of 19. Our brother’s untimely death devastated Robert and he began acting out in a negative manner. As a teenager, Robert’s inability to cope with this tragic loss ultimately and regrettably led to his risk-taking/criminal behavior. Our brother’s murderer was sentenced to 20 years and was released after serving 10 years. It is unbelievable that Robert received a life sentence for his 5 months involvement, in a nonviolent drug conspiracy, and our brother’s murderer only served 10 years. Robert should have been punished for his involvement in the conspiracy; however, a life sentence is excessive. Robert’s daughter was almost 2 years old when he was incarcerated. She has unfortunately experienced the all too familiar pitfalls of growing up without a father, and is now a single mother of four. In February 2015, due to a retroactive amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines Robert's sentenced was reduced to 30 years.  My brother is now 46 years old, but hasn't given up on life.  He spends his time reading, mentoring, speaking, and securing all possible certifications and college credits. My children have never seen their uncle outside of the visitation room; however, they look forward to spending time with him, as he shares with them the importance of making the right choices in life and reminds them that bad choices have consequences and could very well mean giving up their freedom. He also encourages them to do well in school, respect others, and take responsibility for their actions. The unexpected death of our father on July 17, 2012, remains difficult for all of us; and is compounded by what we know was our father’s unending hope to secure Robert’s freedom. As our father laid helplessly, on his death bed with weary eyes, I promised him that I would continue to fight for freedom and justice for my brother. Because Robert wasn't allowed to attend our father's funeral, he wrote a letter, entitled, "A Letter to my Dad," and asked that I read it on his behalf. It was by far one of the hardest things I had to do in my life. When Robert is released, our family and loved ones will provide him with emotional and financial support, and a reentry plan has been developed to ensure that he is given a fair chance at becoming a productive citizen. We will also assist him with his desire to mentor youth that are at a crossroad, just as he was as a grieving young adult. Robert has so much to offer society. Please sign my petition asking President Donald Trump to grant my brother clemency. He has more than paid his debt to society for his 5 months involvement in a nonviolent drug conspiracy at the young age of 20. Robert has been in prison for 25 years now...over half of his life. He was sentenced to life before his life even really got started. 

Veda A.
151,433 supporters