28 Years is TOO Long ~ President Obama: Free William Underwood
It’s been over 28 years since William Underwood was sentenced to LIFE in prison without the possibility of parole, with his first and only felony, under mandatory minimum sentencing as a drug offender. Without clemency from President Obama, he will DIE in PRISON.
WATCH: #HopeForFathersDay ~ http://vimeo.com/m/108281554
By Ebony Underwood ~ Daughter of William Underwood:
My Dad’s name is William Underwood and he is a devoted father of four, a grandfather to three grandchildren and a former music impresario: promoting, managing and jumpstarting the careers of top R&B and pop stars of the 80s and 90s. He promoted artists like Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and more. And, today, his family and long list of friends and supporters in the entertainment business want him home!
But he wasn’t perfect and made mistakes by selling drugs before he had his music career. What originally was a way out of poverty when he was a teenager, and for so many others, eventually became a one-way ticket to prison. Prosecutors, hoping to get a lengthy sentence under the 1980’s War on Drugs, painted him as being a part of a narcotics enterprise.
He was arrested in 1988, despite an FBI document which states his case was closed in 1986 “due to lack of activity.” In 1990, he was sentenced, with his first and only felony offense, to a mandatory minimum 20 years on drug conspiracy charges, plus, life without parole.
He has already completed the concurrent 20-year sentence. The life without parole sentence was the result of a decision by the judge, not a jury. Because of major changes in sentencing policy over the years, if Dad had been convicted under the sentencing guidelines that exist today, there is a good chance he would be home with family now.
My Dad’s love has never faltered throughout the 28 years. He calls my siblings and I almost everyday, sends birthday and holiday cards and emails, but more importantly he has developed an incredible relationship with his grandchildren despite never once meeting them outside of prison walls. He is an amazing grandfather! Today, the laws that were used against him have all been overturned but, unfortunately, because the laws have not been made retroactive, he remains trapped behind prison walls. Our only hope for Dad’s release will be through a commutation of his life sentence.
Today, Dad is 62 years old and has been a model prisoner; he has never been written up since being incarcerated for the past quarter of a century. He is a changed man and has accepted responsibility for actions that led to his incarceration. My father tries to keep the younger guys in prison on track to stay out of trouble, and when they leave, to stay on track. For more info, go to: www.INPRISON.net
Please sign my petition asking President Obama to grant my father clemency.