The Doors Are Open!

“Now!” For many years I’ve prayed for release of prisoners, the innocent and the unjustly incarcerated. You remember marijuana sentenced-
prisoners found guilty and now those charges for which they were found guilty are dropped and no longer crimes! President Trump commuted the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson–in federal prison–more than 20 years for first-time non-violent drug conviction. Trump granted Johnson clemency after TV’s Kim Kardashian West lobbied for her release during a White House visit. Trump moves more quickly to exercise his pardon power than recent presidents [last three White House predecessors had not issued any pardons or commutations at this point in their presidencies. Unlike other presidential actions, the president’s power to pardon is almost unchecked. “WBFO News NPR News: All things Considered [AYESHA
RASCOE] * “Richard Rosario imprisoned for 20 years [a Bronx murder over a dozen witnesses swear he could not have committed–freed Wednesday–

Authorities admitted-no fair trial.” [Daily News] *Nearly two decades after wrongfully convicted of rape and murder, four Navy veterans — the Norfolk Four — are pardoned by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. * “After 20 years on death row Lorriston Cornwall is released from prison in Antigua-sentenced to 1996 death for murder of former girlfriend. Antigua had carried the mandatory death penalty for murder, which has since been found to violate fundamental human rights. Cornwall’s death sentence–set aside by High Court in 2015, with six other prisoners who had also been given the mandatory death sentence.” [The Death Penalty Project] *“Albert Woodfox released from jail after 43 years in solitary confinement US’s longest- standing solitary confinement prisoner set free in Louisiana [a form of captivity widely denounced as torture–in isolation in a six-by-nine-foot cell for 43 years, 23 hours a day. His one hour daily break, allowed him out to go to the exercise yard, but was shackled and kept alone. [accused of 1972 murder of a prison guard]. The prisoner’s release came after the state of Louisiana agreed to drop its threat to subject him to a third trial. Always professing his innocence; now 69 years old released from West Feliciana parish detention center; finally escaped a form of captivity [widely been denounced] as torture, depriving him of all meaningful human contact for more than four decades. ’I would not let them drive me insane.’ Last November James Dennis, a judge with the federal fifth circuit appeals court, described the conditions of Woodfox’s confinement. “For the vast majority of his life, Woodfox spent 23 hours/day every waking hour in a cramped cell in crushing solitude without a valid conviction,” Woodfox, one of the “Angola 3”: three prisoners held in Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison, and subscribed to the Black Panther movement and campaigned against segregation within the institution in the 1970s. [The Guardian]

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