INDIANA (December 7, 2016)- Many of you either know Craig personally, have heard him on ‘A Cup of Joe’ or have heard of him through activism work. Craig was denied clemency- heartbreaking news but you can still hear a smile in Craigs voice and imagine the twinkle in his eye. Craig is an inspiration to anyone who is blessed to know him. Craig is asking for our help in the hope of being reconsidered for clemency. Here is Craig's story in his words: “I am a first-time felon, and first time drug offender who was convicted of conspiring to distribute marijuana. My truck repair company serviced trucks for other companies, and one company not only hauled freight, but they hauled marijuana. I had always admitted my conduct, but I also always asserted it was not illegal. I did plead guilty, but even as a first time offender, I was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. That was nearly fifteen years ago, in 2002.
Recently, for offenders like me, an initiative called the Clemency Project 2014 was started. If an offender was nonviolent, had no gang ties, and no serious prior convictions, they would be given special consideration for a grant of Executive Clemency by President Obama. As of today, Obama has granted sentence commutations, (the shortening of a federal prison sentence) to 1,024 prisoners. This is more than any other president.
The Clemency Project strongly recommended me for being granted a sentence commutation, and that was in August of 2015. A petition takes about one year to process at the Office of Pardon Attorney, and the last step is allowing the case prosecutor to weigh in. In August of 2016, the prosecutor in my case entered a motion in my long closed case, which said I made an agreement with the prosecutor that I should get a reduction in sentence to 30 years. It was also signed by a lawyer who claimed to represent me. This was a false assertion.
The court granted the bogus motion, but that motion would, under the rules for clemency, terminate my petition for clemency. A grant of clemency would send me home. Today (November 29, 2016), my petition was denied because this motion was filed. I was denied even consideration for clemency, simply because of misconduct by this prosecutor. In previous cases of this nature, the president has granted clemency if it is found out the petitioner was cheated. I want that consideration. Please help.” -Craig Cesal
The following is a letter that Craig wrote for us to use when writing on his behalf:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
(Include date here)
Craig Cesal #52948-019 was charged in Georgia with conspiring to distribute marijuana because his truck repair company provided services to semi drivers who trafficked marijuana. The theory was that he told drivers to traffic marijuana, or that he encouraged them. He admitted his company serviced their vehicles, pleaded guilty to that, but even though it was his first conviction, he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. That was in 2002.
He qualified under the strictures of the Clemency Project 2014, and was supported by that group, as well as many others. When his prosecutor's office was asked by the Office of Pardon Attorney about the possibility of clemency, the prosecutor, and a lawyer who claimed to represent Cesal, filed a motion in court which stated Cesal agreed to a lower sentence, instead of seeking a bigger reduction or clemency. Cesal never heard of this lawyer, and never agreed to such a deal. However, if a sentence commutation petition is filed for someone who subsequently seeks action in court, the petition is denied. That's what happened to Cesal. It was a dirty trick by the two lawyers who filed the bogus motion stating Cesal agreed to it.
I ask the President to reconsider Cesal's sentence commutation, since a life sentence, for a first time offender, especially a marijuana offender who never even bought or sold marijuana, is just too harsh. Please review the facts of Cesal's case, and the please ignore the actions of the wayward lawyers who falsely asserted Cesal had entered into a deal which would preclude him from being considered for clemency by the Office of Pardon Attorney.
(SIGN THE LETTER AND DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR ADDRESS)
The fastest and most efficient method of reaching the president is to email by using the form located through the following link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Visit The Human Solution International
to find information on how you can help end prohibition because, "No One Should Go To Jail For A Plant!"
About The Human Solution International: THSI is a grassroots federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which includes over 50 chapters. THSI supports members of the community through the trials they face as cannabis consumers through court support, prison outreach, and education. Members believe that standing together in solidarity against this unfair treatment of civil rights will keep people out of prison for a plant which has been proven to hold many medicinal and health benefits.
The Human Solution International
A 501(c)(3) Civil Rights Organization
Ph: (951) 934-0055
Fx: (520) 509-6845