Tag Archives: Parole board

I regret our verdict … Nancy Day via Change.org


Tyra Patterson was 19 years old when she was initially handed a sentence of 45 years to life for robbery and murder. I know this because I was on the jury that convicted her. But I just found out about evidence that wasn’t presented at the trial — and I believe it proves that Tyra is innocent. 

I recently heard a recording of the 911 call that was placed the night of the crime and was shocked to discover that it was Tyra who called to help the victim. I also found out that Tyra’s co-defendants have stepped forward and said that Tyra was not connected to the crime. They even passed polygraph tests asserting her innocence.

If I had known about this evidence during the trial, I never would have voted to convict Tyra. And now that I do, I’m working to right this injustice by convincing the Governor to commute her sentence.

I started a petition on Change.org asking the Ohio Parole Board and Governor Kasich to pardon Tyra by commuting her sentence. Click here to sign my petition, and help me right this wrong.

During the trial, my gut told me that Tyra had just found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. But her attorney barely put up a defense, and with the most important evidence left out of the trial, the other jurors and I felt like we had no choice but to convict. I have lost many nights of sleep over Tyra’s case, and I’m grateful that I now have the opportunity and the evidence to help set an innocent young woman free.

I know that Change.org petitions have successfully encouraged Governor Kasich to pardon prisoners before, like Kelley Williams-Bolar, a mom who was jailed for trying to get her kids to a safer school. I believe that if enough people sign my petition, Governor Kasich and the Ohio Parole Board will allow Tyra to come home. I want to be there when Tyra gets to leave prison as an innocent woman, knowing I did my part to make that happen. And I can’t do it without your help.

Join me in standing up for Tyra by signing my petition asking Governor Kasich and the Ohio Parole Board to review Tyra’s case and commute her sentence. Click here to sign.

Thank you for your help.

Nancy Day Ohio


Free Donald


Release my boyfriend and soup kitchen manager Donald Perry, in prison since August for offering a ride to a homeless man.
Sign My Petition


In 2011, my boyfriend Donald Perry — a manager at a soup kitchen and homeless outreach center in western Massachusetts — was pulled over and arrested. His crime? He gave a ride to a homeless man who, though Donald didn’t know it, had stolen items with him including an iPad.

When the man realized the police were using GPS to track the iPad to Donald’s car, he fled — leaving Donald to be arrested. But although Donald was acquitted by a jury in July, he is still in prison seven months later.

At the time of his arrest, Donald was on parole for a robbery he committed 30 years ago. But since then, Donald has been one of the Parole Board‘s great success stories — especially because of his tireless service to the homeless. Donald isn’t a danger to society — he’s a loving father, grandfather, partner and public servant. He should be home with me, not in prison.

I started a petition on Change.org calling on the Massachusetts Parole Board to release Donald immediately. Please click here to sign my petition now.

When Donald first told me he was on parole, I wanted to cut the relationship off. But he won me over with his commitment to serving those in need and his boundless love for his children and grandchildren. We were working hard and we were happy — we were even planning our next vacation together.

As of today, Donald has been in prison for 17 months. He is surrounded by men who feel hopeless and in some cases are mentally ill and physically dangerous. It is terrifying that a hearing next month could decide whether or not he goes home — or stays in prison for years to come even though a jury acquitted him.

We’ve been so touched by the outpouring of support for Donald from our community that we’re ready to open up to the possibility that many more people around the country could stand with us to call on the Parole Board to let Donald come home. If thousands of people sign my petition, I think we have a real chance the Parole Board will listen.

Please click here to sign my petition and call on the Massachusetts Parole Board to free my boyfriend and committed public servant Donald Perry now.

Thank you.

Elaine Arsenault
Montague, Massachusetts

2 Facebook pages that shouldn’t exist …Shelby Knox, Change.org

Facebook says that hate speech and incitements to violence are banned and will be removed from their site. So why are they maintaining a page called “Riding Your Girlfriend Softly Cause You Don’t Want to Wake Her Up”? And another page about “throwing bricks at sluts” that includes a photo gallery of portraits asking “Bang or Brick”?

There has even been an organized effort to use Facebook’s own reporting system to flag these and other pages that encourage rape and violence against women so they’ll be taken down. But Facebook hasn’t done a thing.

Now, Change.org member John Raines is going straight to the top. He started a petition on Change.org telling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take down these pages and take a stronger stand against violence against women.

Will you sign John’s petition to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg? Sign on, and tell Facebook to remove pages promoting rape and violence against women now.

When 1 in 3 American women will be sexually abused and/or assaulted in her lifetime, pages like these — and the reactions they elicit — are downright scary. Tens of thousands of people have “liked” these pages. Some people even use them as platforms to share rape fantasies and receive explicit tactics for how to carry them out.

John has seen the devastating impact of sexual violence and rape firsthand, on his own family. That’s why he created this petition on Change.org to get Facebook to enforce its existing policies and to make it clear that content promoting rape and violence against women violates Facebook’s Terms of Service and won’t be tolerated.

Please sign John’s petition. Tell Facebook to stop providing a platform to promote rape and violence against women.

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Shelby and the Change.org team

P.S. The Troy Davis petition that we emailed you about earlier this week is being delivered to the Parole Board today with more than 230,000 signatures from Change.org members, in advance of Troy’s final hearing on Monday. We’ll keep you updated.

VICTORY: Clemency for Kelley Williams-B​olar …Rashad Robinson, ColorOfChange.org

There’s great news today in the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Ohio mother who was convicted of a felony after allegedly misleading authorities and sending her children to a school outside her district. We just learned that Ohio Governor John Kasich granted Williams-Bolar executive clemency, reducing her convictions from felonies to misdemeanors. Gov. Kasich took this action despite the fact that Friday, the Ohio parole board made a unanimous recommendation against any form of clemency.

This is a huge victory, and it wouldn’t have happened without the activism of ColorOfChange members, and our friends at Change.org and MomsRising.org:

When we first learned of the case in February, more than 67,000 ColorOfChange members called on Gov. Kasich to take a public stand and commit to pardoning Williams-Bolar.
We delivered your signatures to Gov. Kasich’s office, along with thousands more from Change.org and MomsRising.org — more than 165,000 signatures in all. The next day,  Gov. Kasich responded to the public pressure by asking the state’s parole board to review Williams-Bolar’s case.
On Friday, Ohio’s parole board finally came back with a recommendation for the Governor — to deny Williams-Bolar a pardon.
In response to the parole board’s recommendation, many of you swung into action this week, calling Gov. Kasich’s office and urging him to issue Williams-Bolar a pardon anyway. Today, Gov. Kasich announced that he would reduce Williams-Bolars felony convictions to first-degree misdemeanors.

Williams-Bolar will still be on probation and will need to complete 80 hours of community service; but she won’t have a felony conviction following her for the rest of her life, limiting her opportunities. Thanks for getting involved — without your voice, things could have turned out much differently for Kelley Williams-Bolar. You should be proud.

At ColorOfChange, we’ll continue to fight to end inequality in education and the criminal justice system, we hope you’ll continue to be there with us. Remember, our work is powered by you, our members. If you can support our work financially, in any amount, please click the link below.



and Peace,

— Rashad, James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
September 7th, 2011

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:


help save Troy’s life

It’s not often that you could literally save a life by signing a petition. This is one of those times.

Last week we told you about Troy Davis, who could be put to death as soon as next month — despite overwhelming evidence that raises serious, unanswered questions about his guilt.

Please read more about the Troy Davis case below, then sign our petition asking the Georgia Pardon Board to spare Troy’s life. It takes just a moment, and it could be the most important action you take this year.


— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team

April 27th, 2011


In 1991, Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a white police officer. Though there’s major evidence that Davis didn’t commit the crime, Georgia is prepared to put him to death. We have a good chance of stopping this — but only if we speak up now.

The fact is, no physical evidence connected Davis to the murder. Seven of the original nine witnesses have recanted, with many saying their testimony was a result of law enforcement pressure. Of the remaining witnesses, one is highly suspect and the other could be the actual culprit in the officer’s murder.

Now, despite these and other facts, the state of Georgia has taken the first steps toward Davis’ execution — and only the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole stands between Davis and the lethal injection chamber.

Georgia may be about to kill an innocent man. That’s not justice. Please ask the Georgia Parole Board to spare Troy Davis’ life, before it’s too late — and it’s critical that you ask others to do the same:


Since Troy Davis’ 1991 conviction, numerous facts have emerged that introduce significant doubt as to his guilt. These facts include:

All but two of the original witnesses against Troy Davis have signed affidavits recanting their earlier testimony. Most claim that their testimony was coerced by police officers.1

Multiple witnesses say that another man — one of the original witnesses against Davis — has claimed to have slain the fallen officer.2

The weapon used in the murder was never found. The only physical evidence connecting Davis to the crime was indirect, circumstantial — and new testimony disputes Davis’s connection to that evidence.3

In light of this evidence, the Supreme Court granted Davis another chance. But instead of an actual new trial before a jury, which would mean the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is on the prosecutor, he got an evidentiary hearing before a single federal judge where Davis’ lawyers had the burden to meet an impossibly high and undefined legal standard.

In light of this, it was sad — but no surprise — when the judge rejected the new evidence and cleared the way for Davis’ execution. However, even he acknowledged lingering doubt, noting that the case against Davis was not “ironclad.”

But “ironclad” is exactly what the evidence should be in order to put someone to death. If the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole doesn’t act to stop Davis’ execution, they’ll run a serious risk of putting an innocent man to death. That is not acceptable.

Please join us, along with our partners at Amnesty International and the NAACP, in asking the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to save Troy Davis’ life by commuting his sentence to life in prison. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.


Thanks and Peace,

— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team

April 20, 2011

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU–your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:



1. “Troy Davis – Finality over Fairness,” Amnesty International USA


2. See Reference 1

3. See Reference 1