Target: Mike Pence Governor of Indiana and Republican Vice President Nominee
Goal: Pardon innocent man with record blighted by crime he did not commit.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence has ignored a pardon request that would alleviate innocent man, Keith Cooper, of charges that are ruining his life. Since being elected three years ago, Pence has only pardoned three people, and since teaming up with Donald Trump, he has disregarded this important duty that is part of his servitude. The Indiana Board of Parole heard Cooper’s petition for pardon two years ago, and over 200 days ago even the deputy prosecutor wrote to Pence suggesting he exonerate this man. This neglect is unacceptable and adds fuel to the Black Lives Matter movement, not just because of the color of Cooper’s skin but because this represents the injustice faced everyday by people of the lower class. Keith Cooper’s life matters.
Cooper, now 49, served nine of the twenty years he had been given for a 1996 armed robbery that resulted in a gunshot wound to a teenager’s stomach. About a decade later, advances in DNA testing proved that Cooper had not committed the crime and found another man responsible. Cooper was then given a choice. He could face a new trial with the same judge who sentenced him in the first place, or he could “walk free” but still have the criminal charges on his record. Cooper chose to walk so he could sooner reunite with his family.
During his incarceration, Cooper’s family, which includes three young children, reached such lows that at times they were completely homeless. Since Cooper has rejoined them, supporting his family has been tough because many employers will not hire someone with this sort of criminal background. By adding your name to this petition, you will join the voices demanding justice for Keith Cooper.
Dear Governor Pence,
Keith Cooper’s innocence has been proven yet still criminal charges remain on his record, which you have the power to erase. Both the Indiana Board of Parole and the deputy prosecutor have pleaded for the exoneration of this man. Since you joined Donald Trump in the race to the White House, many feel that the chances of this happening are dwindling.
Cooper’s family has struggled since his sentencing, and during his incarceration they were sometimes completely homeless. As you know, finding a good job is difficult when charges of this nature are on your record, so even though he walks free Cooper has a hard time supporting his wife and three children.
I urge you to stand for justice and exonerate this innocent man before his family has to go through anymore unnecessary suffering. Show your Indiana supporters and those voting for you in this election that you care about their well-being.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ken Shelton