Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Free man who was sentenced to life in prison for a minor drug offense.
Fate Vincent Winslow has been sentenced to life in prison with hard labor for reportedly attempting to sell $20 worth of marijuana. This is an outrageous misallocation of justice. Demand that President Barack Obama commute Winslow’s undeservedly harsh punishment.
As part of a police sting operation in Louisiana in 2008, Winslow, who was homeless at the time, was arrested for trying to sell a small amount of marijuana to an undercover police officer so that he could buy some food. After being found guilty of this minor crime, a judge sentenced him to life in prison with hard labor and without the possibility of parole. The judge could technically do this because of Winslow’s prior convictions on simple burglary and drug possession charges and because of mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
However, simply because the judge could give Winslow this ridiculous sentence under our current system of laws does not mean that it was just. All of Winslow’s crimes have been nonviolent—and people with no history of violence most certainly do not deserve to be locked up for the rest of their lives. Sign the petition below to demand that President Obama use his presidential powers to commute Winslow’s sentence.
Dear President Obama,
I am writing you today regarding Fate Vincent Winslow’s unjust sentencing. He will be thrown in jail for the rest of his life and left to die for a very minor drug offense, unless you help him.
Winslow was recently convicted for selling $20 worth of marijuana to an undercover police officer in Louisiana back in 2008. Because of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and Winslow’s prior run-ins with the law, his judge was able to sentence him for this most recent offense to life imprisonment with hard labor and no chance for parole.
None of Winslow’s crimes have been violent, and yet, he faces a fate that many of our country’s most violent offenders never even need to be worried about. This is not justice, and it does our nation a disservice to parade it around as such.
Many of our country’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws are thankfully coming under much-needed reform, but such efforts are too little and too late for Winslow. I urge you to use your presidential powers to commute Fate Vincent Winslow’s sentence so that he doesn’t have to spend the rest of his life in prison for a $20 offense.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bogdan via Wikimedia Commons