Director, Campaigns & Partnerships
Pulin Modi: Name your baby Wizard Burial Ground
Wizard Burial Ground would be the most metal baby name ever.
Induct Warren Zevon into the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Warren Zevon is one of rock and roll's greatest and he deserves to finally be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. Warren released over 18 albums over a musical career that spanned most of his life. He earned 2 Grammy Awards, 2 Gold Records, 1 Platinum Record, an Honorary Presidential Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and numerous Songwriter of The Year Awards from publications like Rolling Stone Magazine. He was an incredible live performer who toured extensively throughout the world and collaborated with artists like Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Michael Stipe, and many, many more. All considered Warren one of the greatest songwriters in the world. He meets all of the eligibility requirements for induction and it's a crying shame he wasn't inducted years ago. Enjoy every sandwich.
Don't escalate the failed war on drugs.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered federal prosecutors to seek the harshest punishments possible, including mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. In 2004, I was given a 55-year mandatory minimum sentence as a first-time marijuana offender — virtually a sentence to die in prison. I had sold marijuana three times to an informant who stated that I had a firearm in my possession. I never used or even showed the firearm, but this allowed prosecutors to charge me with three counts of using a firearm in the course of a drug trafficking offense, that carried a mandatory minimum of five years for the first offense and 25 years for each of the other two offenses. At my sentencing, even the judge disagreed with the sentence. He called it “unjust, cruel, and even irrational,” and pointed out that shorter federal sentences have been given to violent criminals such as murderers, child rapists, and even terrorists. I was only 24 years old when I was sentenced. While imprisoned for 13 years, I missed my children growing up and the fruits of a promising music career. Yet, no problem was solved. This waste of human life must end. I’m only free because bipartisan lawmakers and advocates, and even the man who prosecuted me, came together to say that my sentence was wrong. My release was part of a changing attitude toward nonviolent drug offenders, with both Republicans and Democrats working together to make sentences fairer. But now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is working to undo this progress. Sessions decision to order prosecutors to seek the longest sentences possible reverses a directive from former Attorney General Eric Holder that instructed prosecutors to use their discretion and avoid long sentences for low-level drug offenders. Please sign my petition asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reconsider his push for mandatory minimum sentences.
Clemency For Robert J. Riley; Life in Prison for a Nonviolent Drug Offense
Bob has been imprisoned for far too long . He is not a young man any longer, and he feels, if not released soon, he may never see his friends and family again. He has more than paid for the crime of distribution and sales of LSD, and after 22 years, Bob is not the same man who first entered that prison. He is a Poet and a Philosopher, and would be a great asset to our society. It has already cost over a half a million dollars to keep Bob incarcerated all these years. How long will it be and how much money will we spend, before we believe he has paid his dues? Like many followers of the Grateful Dead, Bob was entrapped by law enforcement as part of the DEA's "Dead End" program, targeting Deadheads. Bob was one of thousands of individuals who were caught in this trap. This last December, President Obama commuted the sentences of 9 nonviolent drug offenders, and now plans to release hundreds more, before his term is up.Your signatures will help garner attention and interest for Bob's plight, and in doing so, will help work twords his release. I have been writing Bob since 1992 , for what seems like an eternity now. He has watched violent criminals and people who have commited abhorrent crimes , set free, while HE remains locked away for a crime that hurt no one. He is now almost 65 years old , and it is time he came home. We would appreciate your assistance, both in signing this petition and sharing with others, far and wide. Keeping a man in prison, long after pragmatic thinkers consider that he has paid his dues, is wrong, cruel, and plain injudicious. Even the Judge who sentenced Bob felt the punishment he was FORCED to hand down, due to Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, far outweighed the crime. Thank you in advance for all your time and energy.
President Obama: Be Bold on Clemency
President Obama has taken historic action to address the over sentencing of nonviolent drug offenders through his power of executive clemency. He has granted more commutations than the past 11 presidents combined and was even the first sitting president to ever visit a federal prison. To date, he has commuted the sentences of 1,176 men and women who were incarcerated under outdated and unfair sentencing laws. 395 people were serving life and nearly all were nonviolent offenders sentenced for drug crimes. However, thousands of people are still waiting for a decision on their clemency application and many others have been denied clemency who we believe are deserving. It is likely that President Obama's progress on this issue will stop under the Trump Administration and those who are deserving of a second chance will needlessly be kept from their families for years and others will die in prison. That's why we need President Obama to be bold on clemency and grant commutations to thousands more nonviolent drug offenders and revisit those who have been denied. He could also help give all those nonviolent drug offenders serving life sentences an outdate of no more than 20 years. That would give hope to so many people who have already paid for their mistakes. Please join us in asking President Obama to continue his hard work on clemency to help ensure that many people deserving of a second chance do not die in prison. Amy PovahCAN-DO Foundation - Justice Through Clemency
Exempt Wartime Interpreters from President Trump's Executive Order Banning Immigration
As an U.S. Army Captain serving in Afghanistan, I was almost killed by Taliban fighters. My Afghan translator, Janis, saved my life. We made a promise to translators like Janis, who served alongside our troops, to help them immigrate to the United States.President Trump’s ban on all immigration of refugees breaks that promise to the thousands of Afghan and Iraqi wartime allies. The president's Executive Order shuts the door on thousands of foreign interpreters, our wartime allies, who served alongside our military since 2001. Enacting a four-month ban on ALL immigration of refugees and an outright ban on the immigration of Iraqis condemns thousands of our Iraqi wartime allies to languish and fend for themselves against the very enemies we asked them to help us fight.The blanket ban on immigration from Iraq and the four month moratorium on immigration from Afghanistan prevents our allies from reaching safety here in America and leaves countless thousands to be hunted for their service to the United States. If we commit to this, we will permanently harm our national security. Our credibility will be forever neutered if not eroded. Why would any potential ally ever trust America to keep its word again? It pains me to think how many US soldiers will now die in future wars because we couldn't recruit the local support that is often the difference between life and death. Moreover, this ban imposes a lifetime moral injury on our Iraq war veterans. Vietnam Veterans speak often of their half-century injury at having abandoned so many of our Vietnamese allies. Please ask President Trump to keep our promise to America’s veterans and allow for the Special Immigration Visa program to continue uninterrupted. Sincerely, Matt Zeller, Co-FounderNo One Left Behind
Grant Clemency to Cheryl Howard serving life for a nonviolent drug offense.
It’s been over 23 years since I spent Thanksgiving with my mom. This year was no different. For most of my life, my mother has been behind bars, serving a life without parole sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. My mom’s name is Cheryl Howard and I am her only child; she has 3 grand children (2 girls ages 14 and 7 and 1 boy age 13). We have always had a close relationship. One of my last memories together was Halloween when I was the Cowardly Lion from The Wiz. My mother worked so hard on my costume and I was embarrassed by my curls I had as the lion but I remember everyone telling us how great my costume was. This was one of the only childhood moments we had together. Then my mom started abusing drugs like cocaine. It changed everything. Soon she was arrested and in 1995 convicted of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and one count of conspiracy. She was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. I don’t want to make excuses for my mom -- she made mistakes. But I also believe that with help for her addiction she could have gotten better. Instead she was sent to prison for the rest of her life and without clemency from President Obama, she will die there. President Obama has now granted clemency to over 1,000 nonviolent drug offenders like my mom. But only 68 have been women and time is running it out. My mother has accepted full responsibility for actions and has suffered enough. I'm begging President Obama to grant her clemency. While in prison she obtained her GED, completed Vocational Training and Tarrant Community College courses, (2) Pierpont College courses and creative writing courses. She has maintained employment through the Life Connections Program (LCP) which helps inmates learn life skills so that upon release she can be successful and equipped with job skills. After release she want to start a program called “Fed Up,” which stands for Federal Ex-offender’s Driven to their Unexpected, to help female ex-offenders with life coaching, counseling, and job placement. I hear the pain in her voice when she says how remorseful she is for the crimes she committed. Her voice has kept me on the right path in raising my own family. She is truly a changed person, prepared to contribute to her community and society if released. In January 2015 she had 3 aneurysms rupture and was placed on life support for 31 days. She has recovered but I worry everyday. That Cowardly Lion Halloween costume is symbolic because I’ve carried courage with me my entire life. For 23 years I’ve missed every precious moment most people have with their mothers. I can only guess what they feel like. I have three children she has never held as babies. I’ve even delayed my wedding in the hopes that she will be able to walk me down the aisle with my Aunt. Please sign my petition to ask President Obama to grant clemency to a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend who deserves a second chance. For more information regarding my mother's case and others whom deserve Justice through clemency please visit http://www.candoclemency.com/cheryl-howard http://www.candoclemency.com/
Grant Clemency to Ricky G. Minor
My name is Heather Minor and on February 6, 2001, when I was 7 years old, my life took a horrible turn when my father was sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. Without clemency from President Obama, he will die in prison. When my father, Ricky Minor, was given his sentence I didn't realize I was about to begin a journey that would become a new "normal" way of life for me – growing up without a father. Even though my dad was a first time nonviolent drug offender, under mandatory minimum sentencing laws he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On that same day, my mother was also arrested. My whole world as I knew it was completely destroyed. At the age of seven, both of my parents were taken away from me, and from that point forward I was raised by my elderly grandparents. I am now 21 years old, the first in my family to graduate from high school, and taking additional classes to improve my life. However, while I am trying to make the best of my life, the realization that my father will die alone in prison is too much for me to fathom. My father was suffering from a drug addiction and trying to cope with it. He was not some "big time" drug dealer, but an addict struggling to support his habit who was a victim of an overly-harsh and inflexible mandatory sentencing structure. Even the sentencing federal judge hesitated to impose the life sentence. As my dad said at his hearing, “rapists, murderers and child molesters will be set free before me…where is the justice in that?” My dad has now served over 14 years of his sentence - most of it over 700 miles from my home. I have grown from a small child to an adult only seeing him once or twice a year due to limited funds for travel and taxing health issues of my grandparents. The only opportunity I had to form a relationship with my dad was through weekly phone calls and occasional letters. It is heartbreaking. I just want a chance to get to know my dad like every other daughter. Even though I know and he knows what he did was wrong, I think he has served more than enough to compensate for the crime he committed. He has paid the price of his crimes…but so have I, and I didn’t do anything wrong other than be a victim of parents with a drug addiction. He has completely rehabilitated himself by obtaining his GED, furthering his education, drug free and very health conscious including his diet and physical activities. Please sign my petition asking President Obama to grant my father, Ricky Minor, clemency.
Urge Congress to Support Common Sense Rape Survivor Rights
On a brisk October afternoon, I left for an appointment at a rape crisis center. Fifteen minutes later, I faced a challenge more daunting than the rape that brought me there: America's unequal justice system for rape survivors.I struggled to have my basic rights recognized by the criminal justice system. Through my fight, I learned that survivor rights are not equal across the US. Over forty states have backlogs in untested kits. Some states do not cover the full medical expenses of a kit, leaving survivors to pay their own way towards justice.A handful of states don’t even notify the survivor when they permanently dispose of a rape kit. Instead, different states provide different rights. Even worse, no states provide survivors with all of the common-sense rights they deserve.My fight is not mine alone. Instead, it is a crisis for 25 million survivors across America, and I've come together with citizens, advocates, and legislators to do something about it. We're fighting for a comprehensive Bill of Rights for all survivors, including: The right to be notified of your rights in clear language The right to know your own medical information from your own rape kit The right not to have to pay for your own rape kit The right to a copy of your own police report After my experience, I wanted to help others. So I started an organization called Rise, dedicated to protecting the rights of sexual assault survivors. Today, we're close to an important victory. We've introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress that would help protect these rights across our country, so that justice does not depend on geography. But we need your help.Join us by signing this petition and calling on your Senators and Representatives to pass this important legislation now. Amanda Nguyen President & Founder, Rise
It's Time for #JusticeReformNOW
Right now, we have an opportunity to fix one of the biggest moral crises of our time. 1 out of every 100 Americans is behind bars. The U.S. spends $80 billion a year on incarceration. 70 million Americans have a criminal record. In too many neighborhoods, young people of color are more like to go to prison than college. We have a critical moment of opportunity. Important criminal justice reforms have been introduced in Congress and received the support of leading Republicans and Democrats. People on both sides of the aisle know we cannot continue to incarcerate more people per capita than any other country in the world. Despite all the agreement, all the evidence, all the popularity and all the urgency, we are still awaiting votes on criminal justice reform proposals in the U.S. House and Senate. This moment offers a once-in-a generation opportunity that could save entire communities and transform millions of lives. We must not let it pass. Together, we can push Congress and President Obama to pass major legislation and get crucial bills signed into law this year. Sign this petition. Demand that Congress take action to roll back the incarceration industry in America.
Clemency for Danielle Metz serving life without parole!
I was 3 years old when my mother, Danielle Metz, was arrested, tried and convicted for drug conspiracy. My brother, Carl Jr. was 7 when our world came crashing down because we lost both our parents to the drug war. I am now 26 years old, married and want to have a child of my own, but I can’t imagine raising my child without my mother being close, to dote over her grand baby. Our mom received a life sentence for a first-time drug offense in 1993 due to the actions of her co-defendants because the conspiracy law holds each participant responsible for the actions of other co-conspirators, including the ring leader. My mother knows she messed up by playing any role in my father’s drug dealings, but she doesn’t deserve to die in prison. She is a good person who was never in any trouble. The drug laws of the 80s and 90s are no longer enforced the way they were back when my mother was arrested, but we can’t change the past. We can only change the future. President Obama has been commuting prisoners with life sentences like my mother received because he understands the flaw with the 100 to 1 ratio for crack cocaine that was applied disproportionally against people of color. Sadly, changes to the law have not benefited my mom. We need your help to raise awareness to my mother's case so she won’t be overlooked among thousands of applicants seeking justice through clemency. Kenneth Polite, the U.S. Attorney over the district where my mom was prosecuted even wrote a letter supporting her clemency and stated, "Ms. Metz has now spent almost half her life in prison and we do not believe that she merits spending the rest of her life in prison. Nor do we believe that she poses any meaningful risk to public safety. Accordingly, my office supports President Obama granting Ms. Metz's application for a commutation of sentence." While incarcerated, my mom has completed every course the Bureau of Prisons has to offer. She can't program any more than she already has. We only have a few months before President Obama leaves office and possibly the most heartbreaking aspect of all this is the pain my grandmother endures while she waits for my mom to come home. She consented to Dialysis Treatment only because she believes my mom will be on the next clemency list only to be devastated, time and time again. She wants to go grocery shopping with my mom and eat a delicious cajun Sunday dinner together. She wants President Obama to know this is the only year (2016) she has ever missed visiting her in Dublin, CA and she is waiting to see Danielle walk through the door of her home, that she grew up in. No one knows when God will call her home and I will not be able to live with myself if I don't do everything in my power to bring my mother home and bring peace of mind and heart to grandmother before it's too late. Danielle is #2 on the CAN-DO Top 25 women who deserve clemency. Please sign and share with your friends so we can turn the corner and replace the sadness with joy. We yearn to be among the many families that are celebrating such wonderful news due to President Obama's mercy and generosity.
Clemency for Timothy Tyler, life for a nonviolent drug offense
My brother Timothy Tyler was just 25 years old when he was sentenced to die in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He's watched murderers and rapists leave prison while he has no chance of ever leaving. He is now 45 years old and I want to bring him home. Timothy was a young Grateful Dead fan, who in May of 1992, sold pot and LSD to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. He had never been to prison before, but a judge was forced to give him double life without the possiblity of parole because of two prior drug convictions — even though both those convictions resulted in probation. Life without the possibility of parole means my brother will never have a chance to live outside of prison walls. It's effectively a death sentence. Tim made mistakes when he was young, but after 22 years in prison, he has more than paid his debt to society. He is not a threat to anyone. He wasn't given a chance to get clean and sober to think about the damage he was doing to his life. They locked him up and threw away the key. But there's hope. In December, President Obama granted clemency to 8 nonviolent drug offenders who were serving mandatory sentences for crack cocaine. And the Department of Justice recently asked for Bar Associations throughout the country to send them more clemency petitions for nonviolent drug offenders. It costs $25,000 per year to keep my non-violent brother in prison for a mistake he made more than 20 years ago. So far, that is over half a million dollars. Not only is that not justice, but it's a waste of money. I need your help to show them that Americans think Timothy has paid his debt to society and shouldn't be housed in a cage at the expense of taxpayers anymore. He should be granted clemency.