OK, Governor Whitmer.
We’ve finally taken steps to fix the damn roads. Your response, on behalf of your party, to the State of the Union Address went flawlessly. Now it’s time for you to take a hard look at the #$%&* prisoner commutations!
Granted, it wasn’t very nice of former Governor Snyder to leave all those unanswered commutation requests in your lap. Decency would have suggested that he, at the very least, give all of those Michigan prisoners seeking clemency either a “yes” or a “no.” Yes, he did commute a handful of sentences. But, the rest of the applicants (and there were hundreds), never got answers.
Here’s the thing. When an application is denied, prisoners may try again in two years. Well, two years is coming up for some of these men and women, but they still haven’t received a formal answer to their first application! You can’t put this off any longer.
In recent months, HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS has reached out to you personally, and to your staff, offering to help with this massive stack of applications. We have commutations experts on our team (we’ve actually prepared a printed guideline for inmates to assist them in filling out the application forms!), and we’re willing to help, without charge or obligation. But to date, we can’t even get a meeting. We can’t even get someone to talk about it.
The stack continues to grow by the day. You not only have all of those old applications from the Governor Snyder days, but you have applications coming in now from prisoners who see and feel new hope because of a new administration, a new attitude.
We believe there are prisoners who deserve to have their sentences commuted. Regardless of how you and your staff feel about the 38,000 people who are housed and fed by our state prison system, they are human beings. They deserve an answer, a response.
Will you respond?
Can we help?
The position of HFP has been, and always will be, that 95% of the incarcerated will someday leave these prisons and reenter society. They’re going to be neighbors. To make them better citizens then, they deserve humane treatment now. They need someone to care.
Ignoring pleas for help from this segment of our society is no longer an option.