Target: Barack Obama, President of the United States
Goal: Grant Michael Palmer clemency on his lifetime sentence
On January 7th, 1989, Michael Palmer, who operated a crack business in Washington, D.C., was sentenced to life in prison due to mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws. Ten days later, his daughter Taylor Palmer was born, and has since been condemned to a life without a father. After 25 years, Taylor is hoping that the United States government will offer her father, who was not convicted of a violent crime, clemency.
Palmer has spent the past 25 in prison displaying exceptionally good behavior. He is thoroughly rehabilitated from his days of drug use. He has stated he is committed to trying to get home and live as a reformed member of society.
Inmates with similar sentences have had varied success over the years attaining clemency. Palmer has served more than enough time to qualify to apply for clemency himself. We now know that if Palmer had committed his crime today, he would not have received a similar sentence.
Michael Palmer deserves to return to his family, and has paid his debt to society many times over. He has stated that he would like clemency so that he might be able to spend time with his children and grandchildren. Sign this petition so that Palmer’s case may be reviewed for a second chance at life.
Dear President Obama,
Due to the “three strikes” law, Michael Palmer was given a life sentence and has been incarcerated for over 25 years for a drug crime he was convicted of in 1989. Under the revised criteria offered by the U.S. Justice Department to reduce the number of nonviolent inmates in federal penitentiaries, Palmer has every right to be granted clemency.
Eight inmates who had been serving out sentences for the sale of crack cocaine have already been released as per the new criteria for applicants. Palmer has served twice the amount of time necessary to apply for clemency under the revision. If his crime were committed today, it is highly unlikely that he would face one life sentence, let alone two. Palmer has also exhibited good behavior as an inmate.
Palmer has overpaid his debt to society, and deserves a chance to spend time with his daughter and family. At an estimated $45,000 per year to imprison him, the American public deserves a return on its investment by allowing Palmer to be return to society, find work, and support his family. Mistakes from the past have dominated his life for long enough.
I urge you to grant Michael Palmer clemency immediately and unburden the justice system of one more non-violent drug offender.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Taylor Palmer via Flickr