PETITION FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR ALL QUALIFYING STATE AND FEDERAL INMATES, AND DETAINED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
“ATTN Prison System: Stop waiting out this global viral pandemic and subjecting the incarcerated population to inhumane conditions that have resulted in mass infections and unjust death sentences. Inmates are living in fear while dwelling in what is perceived as a petri dish, unable to practice social distancing like the rest of society, suffering inadequate sanitation, below standard meals, cut off from families and loved ones and lastly, are paying an ultimate price that grossly outweighs the purpose of the sentences imposed, and, ostensibly the crimes they committed.”
The General Assembly of the United Nations inserted the prohibition against torture in the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 5 states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
(I) The signatories herein, petition the Attorney General, House of Representatives,
and any or all able local and state representatives to support and GRANT this
petition TO IMMEDIATELY RELEASE ALL QUALIFYING INMATES; AND
(II) and (III) Certain inmates designated as VIOLENT OFFENDERS be
RECLASSIFIED as nonviolent offenders under certain qualifying special conditions.
(IV) Contact Visitation privileges be REINSTATED for ALL non-quarantined inmates.
(V) Qualifying detained illegal immigrants be granted IMMEDIATE RELEASE and
deported back to their country of origin (VI) New social distancing guidelines at ALL
federal and state correctional institutions which allow MAXIMUM access to
outdoor recreation faculties in order to limit inmates’ exposure to
the virus, instead of locking them in their housing units where
practicing social distancing is an IMPOSSIBILITY.
(VII) Inmates must CONTINUE being fed a minimum of 3 FULL nutritious
meals a day that are NOT reduced to “johnny sacks” or high calorie
Due to the onset of COVID-19, county jails, state and federal
prison institutions as well as immigration detention centers have
failed in their responsibility to provide reasonable security and
health provisions for the national inmate population as it directly
relates to the exposure and spread of COVID-19.
The number of COVID-19 related deaths among inmates and correctional
officers has now surpassed 1,000, with more than 160,000 infected,
according to various news sources. None of these inmates were death
row inmates. The gross negligence of these institutions and the
agencies that govern them, in conjunction with the immobility to
release qualifying inmates has resulted in massive infection and LOSS
It is a documented and uncontested fact that inmates are not able to
adequately protect themselves from the risk of exposure to COVID-19,
because the infrastructure that houses them is not designed nor
equipped to provide an adequate means for social distancing practices.
THEREFORE, it is the PRAYER of these petitioners that qualifying
inmates from ALL institutions and places of confinement be released
IMMEDIATELY and that such actions required by the federal, state,
county, etc, NO LONGER BE DELAYED.
RECLASSIFICATION OF PUBLIC SAFETY FACTOR IN
CERTAIN VIOLENT OFFENSES
(i) Women (and Men) who, in cases of self defense, used deadly force
against their abuser, or who were acting in the defense of another,
should henceforth be reclassified as non-violent offenders and granted
IMMEDIATE COVID-19 RELIEF THROUGH RECLASSIFICATION
(A) Individuals convicted of 18 U.S.C. 922(g) and individuals under Title
18 USC 924(c) punishments, must be reclassified as NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS
and the required mandatory minimum waived UNDER THESE NEW SPECIAL
CONDITIONS, where (i) a firearm was not discharged during the
commission on the offensive conduct, AND
(ii) the criminal conduct was in fact a victimless offense in the
sense that the victim did not involve a flesh and blood living person.
(iii) If an individual was charged as a felon in possession of a
firearm or ammunition, though the preponderance of evidence
demonstrated that the individual had not physically possessed the
firearm or ammunition, and if the firearm or ammunition was owned by
another party and not the felon in question – even if the individual
had knowledge or not of the firearm or ammunition, or the potential to
access it – in such cases the individual must be reclassified as
NON-VIOLENT UNDER THESE NEW SPECIAL CONDITIONS and granted
IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM CUSTODY.
[18 U.S.C. § 922(g) states:It shall be unlawful for any person– (1) who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; (2) who is a fugitive from justice; (3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. § 802)); (4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution; (5) who, being an alien- (A) is illegally and unlawfully in the United States; or (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(26))); (6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; (7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship; FEDERAL CONSEQUENCES OF STATE COURT CONVICTIONS: PROHIBITED PERSONS AND FIREARMS (8) who is subject to a court order that– to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.]
[18 U.S.C. § 924(c) pertains to: whoever knowingly imports or brings into the United States or any possession thereof any firearm or ammunition in violation of section 922.]
(B) Individuals convicted of 18 U.S.C. 1111 offenses, UNDER THESE NEW
SPECIAL CONDITIONS must be reclassified as NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS and
the required mandatory minimum waived, where (i) the offender argued
*SELF DEFENSE (and said claim fell within the scope of reasonable
doubt, but was not established at the time of trial and/or
sentencing), and was the victim of domestic abuse; OR
(ii) The offender committed the homicide in the defense of another who
was the victim of domestic abuse in order to preserve the life of the
victim where a reasonable amount of excessive force was necessary,
but was not premeditated with malice.
The inmates who meet these qualifying special conditions should
therefore be reclassified as non-violent offenders and granted
[*Self defense is defined as the following:
self-defense n. the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. Self-defense is a common defense by a person accused of assault, battery or homicide. The force used in self-defense may be sufficient for protection from apparent harm (not just an empty verbal threat) or to halt any danger from attack, but cannot be an excuse to continue the attack or use excessive force.
18 U.S. Code § 1111. Murder (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree.]
Inmates shall have contact visitation privileges. Certain facilities
which limit an inmates’ interaction with members of the public, (i.e.,
family, friends, etc) through use of video visitation devices only, a
wire mesh screen, a glass wall, or telephones provided by the
institution, to be used for visitation purposes only shall no longer
be used as the sole means for social interaction beyond the scope of
inmate-to-inmate interaction. Limiting an incarcerated individuals
ability to continue to maintain and engage in meaningful non-inmate
human interactions is counterproductive, toxic, and is an act that
opposes the betterment and overall welfare of the inmate by removing
the most critical innate component of all – a component that provides
human comfort and emotional support. Without these critical elements,
the inmate is subject to a dehumanizing reality that he/she is cut off
from family and loved ones and cannot have meaningful interactions
with their own children.
Correctional Facilities and Detention Centers shall
provide necessary visitation rotation schedules for ALL local
visitors and; Adequate provisions shall be provided for ALL non-local
visitors. The determination between local and non-local shall be
distinguished by the local policy procedures of each institution/facility.
IMMEDIATE COVID-19 RELIEF FOR DETAINED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
Individuals detained at Immigration Detention Centers must be
immediately deported back to their country of origin if, (A) their
current conviction was a non-violent crime; and (B) if their current
conviction constitutes a victimless crime in the sense that the victim
did not involve a flesh and blood living person. Under these special
conditions the illegal immigrant should be granted IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
NEW SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES
It continues to proliferate the spread of the COVID-19 virus when
state, federal and county prison institutions limit inmates’ mobility
by leaving them confined to their housing units where social
distancing is an IMPOSSIBILITY.
Most institutions during COVID-19 lock downs allow only LIMITED
access to outdoor recreational faculties, i.e. “rec yard”, where
inmates would otherwise have the liberty to leave the enclosures of
their housing units where exposure to the virus is higher. However,
inmates MUST have MAXIMUM access to outdoor resources, which
gives inmates the crucial environmental space necessary to social
distance. This should allow prison authorities to sanitize the living
areas of the inmate population, ensuring that sanitation has been
executed correctly. Therefore, ALL inmates MUST IMMEDIATELY have the
liberty to have MAXIMUM access outdoor areas (i.e., outdoor
recreation) in order to LIMIT THEIR INDOOR EXPOSURE TO THIS LETHAL
FOOD & CAFETERIA SERVICES
Inmates shall be fed a minimum of 3 FULL nutritious meals a day which
include a calorie intake between 2,500 and 3,000 daily.
(B) Increased calorie intake is not an adequate replacement for food
Inmates should not go hungry due to small portioned, yet high calorie
(C) Diminishing serving portions in favor of serving a small, calorie-rich
meal is not humane. Inmates should not be compelled to have to purchase
food items from commissary just to get their bellies full.
Jesse W. McGraw
Phone +1 (442)-264-4360