A huge thank you to Steve Nelson at Washington Examiner for spotlighting three prisoners that CAN-DO advocates for – Michelle West serving double life, Michael Pelletier serving life for pot and Chad Marks serving 40 years. These individuals deserve mercy and have earned it…lets stop with the gratuitous photo ops that are an insult to the tradition of what a real pardon should be about.
Prison inmates and other clemency advocates are encouraging President Trump to pardon human beings alongside turkeys to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Trump will “pardon” a pair of birds Tuesday at the White House as part of an annual meat-industry event that people behind bars say is upsetting to watch.
“It is one of the greatest insults to watch the president pardon two turkeys every Thanksgiving while I and so many other people suffer for non-violent drug conspiracy cases,” said Michael Pelletier, a paralyzed Maine native with a pending clemency request.
Pelletier is serving life without parole for importing Canadian marijuana. His statement was provided by Amy Povah, a clemency recipient who founded Can-Do Clemency to advocate for other federal drug offenders.
“For everyone we communicate with, it’s like pouring salt in a wound,” Povah said about the turkey pardons. She was released in 2000 by President Clinton about nine years into a 24-year sentence for conspiracy to traffic the drug MDMA.
Michelle West, who is serving life in prison for drug-related crimes, said in a message shared by Povah that “each year, I watch the president of the United States pardon a turkey wondering who started this tradition and why?”
“The turkey’s life is saved while I continue to languish in federal prison praying the president will consider pardoning me,” she said. “I have done everything humanly possible to prove I am worthy and deserving. What did the turkey do?”
Chad Marks, nearly halfway through a 40-year cocaine sentence, said that “President Trump should show mercy this year to both the turkey and those who deserve it.”