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Fighting to reverse the trend of mass incarceration and correcting sentencing bias and injustices that remain uncorrected in Virginia." -- Lillie Branch-Kennedy, Founder/Executive Director Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged & Disenfranchised (RIHD)

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Dec 31, 2015 | by admin

RIHD CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM CAMPAIGN THE NEED FOR SENTENCING REFORM AND ESTABLISHMENT OF REMEDIES TO CORRECT INJUSTICES OF THE PAST – FISHBACK V. COMMONWEALTH . 632 S.E.2D 629 (VA.2000) – Five Years of Unfair Jury Trials

RIHD CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM CAMPAIGN THE NEED FOR SENTENCING REFORM AND ESTABLISHMENT OF REMEDIES TO CORRECT INJUSTICES OF THE PAST

FISHBACK V. COMMONWEALTH . 632 S.E.2D 629 (VA.2000)

On 11/18/2015, RIHD SENTENCING REFORM CAMPAIGN to correct unfair and uninformed jury sentencing (I.E. FISHBACK V. COMMONWEALTH . 632 S.E.2D 629 (VA.2000) the Virginia Parole Commission, adopted recommendation to Virginia Governor for remedy for estimated 500 offenders/prisoners. RIHD applaud Governor McAuliffe for initiating Executive Order 44 and for the Commission Commission addressing and recognition of serious sentencing “error’ However, RIHD recently learned the Parole Commission recommendation to the Governor for REMEDY is to “reinstate parole eligibility” to the estimated 500 FISHBACK Eligible offenders currently incarcerated. The unfair jury trial is not a parole eligibility issue, it is about the failure to informed the jury that parole was abolished/misapplication of truth-in-sentencing, by Judges. Such unfair sentencing practices stemed from Virginias’ Sentencing Commission guidelines and later cited unconstitutional by Virginia Supreme Court in favor of offender/prisoner FISHBACK. Secondly , reinstating parole to the estimated 500 would only mean they are ‘eligible’ does nothing to correct the Virginia Supreme Court decison per FISHBACK.

CORRECT SENTENCING DISPARITY/INJUSTICE FROM THE PAST THAT REMAIN UNCORRECTED!

It is only fair to correct truth-in-sentencing, by applying the same REMEDY per the Virginia Supreme Court with the case of Fishback ruling. “Resentence each wronged offender per the Virginia Supreme Court with the case of Fishback ruling, using the Court/Office of Probation initiated “PRE-SENTENCED RECOMMENDATION REPORT” This report is based solely on the offenders criminal record or allow prisoner to plead guilty with a reduced sentence.

“The duty to define justice and reform its administration is shared by all three (3) branches of government.”

Duty Calls! TAKE ACTION TODAY & EVERYDAY

1. Download, read and share: 2016 RIHD.pdf

2. Call, email, text and /or visit the following state and/or elected official in SUPPORT OF: “applying the same REMEDY per the Virginia Supreme Court with the case of Fishback ruling. “Resentence each wronged offender per the Virginia Supreme Court with the case of Fishback ruling, using the Court/Office of Probation initiated “PRE-SENTENCED RECOMMENDATION REPORT” This report is based solely on the offenders criminal record or allow prisoner to plead guilty with a reduced sentence.”

Virginia State Employee Directory by Name and Agency:http://www.employeedirectory.virginia.gov/Default.aspx

Who’s my State Legislator: http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform

Secretary and Governor: www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/c

Tips for Testifying: http://legis.state.va.us/1_cit_guide/tips_testify.html

 

3. Please share/forward to all concern Virginians. Keep RIHD updated at rihd23075@aol.com or call/text 804-426-4426

Five Years of Unfair Jury Trials In 1995 Virginia abolished parole for all persons convicted of nonviolent and violent crimes committed on or after January 1, 1995, allowing only for geriatric release for certain class of offenders over the age of sixty or sixty-five. When these laws came into effect in 1995, the court rules at the time prohibited judges from instructing juries in non-capital cases that the defendant would not be entitled to parole if sentenced to a term of incarceration, even in cases where the jury requested to know whether the offender would be entitled to parole. Consequently, juries that sentenced offenders in the months and years following the abolition of parole were not instructed by judges that parole had been abolished; thus, they imposed sentences under the erroneous impression that only a fraction of the sentence would be served by the offender. In June 2000, in the case of Fishback v. Commonwealth, 260 Va. 104, 532 S.E. 2d 629 (2000), that the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that judges must instruct jurors in all non-capital cases that parole has been abolished. In reaching its decision, the Supreme Court confirmed what had long been obvious to observers of Virginia criminal justice system: that instructing juries who will impose sentence that parole has been abolished would ensure a fair trial for both the offender and the citizens of Virginia. Two decades later, there are between 471-500 prisoner who remain behind bars without any remedy and who are serving sentences far beyond what the jury actually intended.

Lillie Branch-Kennedy Founder/Executive Director

RIHD, Inc. – PO Box 55 – Highland Springs – Virginia 23075

(804) 426-4426

http://www.rihd.org

” Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.