My Son Will Die in Prison
Petition by Elizabeth Stewart
The following is from change.org:
My son Jeremy Stewart has been given 70 years in prison for stealing. He was convicted of burglarizing two homes while the residents were out. There was no confrontation, no threats, and no violence at the time California had a harsh three strikes law. My son had two prior nonviolent offenses, the judge made the decision to enforce the law to the fullest.
I have been fighting for a fairer punishment ever since.
Under previous California law, Jeremy would have most likely been sentenced to about 12-15 years in prison. But because of California’s 3 Strikes law, Jeremy received a harsher sentence than drug cartel hit men who had confessed to killing more than 20 people. They only got 25-years-to-life.
Jeremy’s poor decisions were made while he was dealing with a serious drug addiction and depression. He needed treatment and rehabilitation.This doesn’t excuse his conduct and he knows he needs to face consequences for his actions. But 70 years to life with no good time credits allowed, means he won’t be eligible for parole until he is 96. The cost, 5 million dollars to taxpayers. This is an unjust and inhumane death sentence, all for nonviolent offense.
Jeremy is not the only one being punished — I am raising his two children in his absence. Every day, these innocent young children suffer emotionally missing their father. I struggle financially working to afford day care and their basic needs.This unjust sentence means his children will never be able share the same four walls as their father. He should have an opportunity to earn the right to return home to provide for his two young children, Heatherly and David, currently ages 5 and 6.
Today Jeremy is serving his sentence at Calipatria State Prison. He tutors other inmates, leads the Christian worship services and the Narcotics Anonymous group. He currently has a 4.2 GPA through Coastline College and will graduate in November 2015. He has been a model prisoner.
Jeremy made a terrible mistake, but should a nonviolent crime put him behind bars for life? A Petition for Clemency has been sent to Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown to exercise his discretion and reduce Jeremy’s sentence. I am asking the Governor to reduce his sentence to 20 years. I humbly and respectfully request your support.
Please sign my petition and stand by me and my family as we fight to give Jeremy the chance to come home one day.