Free Reformed Man Imprisoned After Clerical Error


Target: Jay Nixon, Governor of Missouri

Goal: Free man imprisoned 13 years after crime was committed

A man is going to prison thirteen years after he committed a crime due to a clerical error in the correctional department’s computing system. Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to jail for committing a robbery, and was told he would be summoned when it was time to report to prison. Thirteen years later, after he had built a life with his wife and children, the error was discovered and Anderson was brought to prison.

During those thirteen years, Mr. Anderson turned his life around by becoming a certified carpenter and opening three businesses. He got married and cared for his children. Many people that knew him described him as a model citizen and a responsible and respectable person.

Mr. Anderson never made any effort to conceal his identity- he filed his taxes, renewed his driver’s license, and registered businesses under his own name. Even when he was pulled over for a traffic violation, nothing suggested to police that he should be in jail.

After the error was discovered, a SWAT team entered his house while he was feeding his daughter breakfast and took Mr. Anderson into custody. Now, thirteen years later, he is being held at the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Missouri where he is expected to carry out his full sentence of thirteen years.

After spending the past thirteen years becoming an upstanding member of society, a prison sentence is not only unfair, but would do more harm than good to Mr. Anderson and his family. His businesses will be lost without a leader, his family will be left without their provider, and his children left without a father figure.

As the primary purpose of prison is rehabilitation, it is unnecessary that Mr. Anderson serve his full sentence, and it is unfair that the state is not considering an alternative to its original sentence after such a monumental error. Your signature will demand that Mr. Anderson be released, and that a more appropriate sentence of community service be handed down as it is clear that he is no longer a threat to society.


Dear Governor Jay Nixon,

Cornealious Anderson was recently brought to prison after a clerical error allowed him to remain free for thirteen years after being sentenced to prison. During these thirteen years, Mr. Anderson has become a model citizen, with three successful businesses and a family. After the error was discovered, he was brought to the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston where he is expected to carry out his full sentence.

As the primary goal of prison is rehabilitation, and Mr. Anderson no longer poses a threat to society, it is unfair that he is expected to carry out his full sentence after such a serious error on the part of the state. A prison sentence would not only take away the life he has built, but leave his children without a father and provider. I ask that in light of the error made by the state and Mr. Anderson’s clear improvement, a more appropriate sentence of community service replace the prison sentence he is currently expected to serve.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Joe Gratz via Creative Commons

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