12:30-1:30 PM at Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General
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Description by Amistad Law Project:
On February 25th, join us in calling on Attorney General Josh Shapiro to keep the Board of Pardons functioning as it is designed—allowing people who have rehabilitated themselves after decades of incarceration to come home from prison.
Commutation is a pathway for people incarcerated on life and other long term sentences to be released. In a state that currently holds over 5,000 people on life without parole sentences at tremendous cost to our communities, it is a critical check and balance on our criminal legal system. Sadly, Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the most consistent ‘no’ vote at the Board of Pardons, mercilessly condemning people who have much to offer society to die in prison.
On February 25 at 12:30, we will rally at the Attorney General’s office in Harrisburg to demand that Josh Shapiro uses his power to grant commutation rather than condemning people to die in prison.
Josh Shapiro has opposed the votes of the Chair of the Board, Lt. Governor Fetterman, and other members of the Board, denying people release even when prison wardens testify in their favor. He has denied people who had the support of the victims’ families, and people with serious health conditions and little time left to live. Many of the people who Josh Shapiro has denied freedom have spent decades in prison demonstrating dramatic growth and positive life change. They are needlessly incarcerated at a huge cost to our communities.
Instead of forcing the Commonwealth to pay millions of dollars a year to incarcerate individuals who would otherwise be released, Josh Shapiro should support policies that direct those resources toward the things that actually make our communities safe. We need safe roads, affordable housing, healthy schools and anti-violence programs that can disrupt the cycle of violence, not endless incarceration.
Josh Shapiro frames himself as a forward thinking attorney general, but believes it is politically beneficial for him to keep people in jail until they die — regardless of how much they have changed or what they have accomplished while incarcerated. His decision making disregards mercy, redemption, and research for political gain. Unless we speak up, Josh Shapiro will continue to prioritize his political career over people’s lives. We must show him that people in Pennsylvania want fair commutation that allows people who have rehabilitated themselves to come home -not- mass incarceration.
On February 25th, we will tell him that he can do the right thing. Our communities are no safer or stronger with people who have transformed their lives warehoused in prisons. Join us in standing against the practice of mass incarceration and demanding that Attorney General Shapiro vote in favor of people that the Chair recognizes as worthy of mercy and release. When Lt. Governor Fetterman votes in favor of an individual, we see no reason why Attorney General Shapiro should be the one to stand in the way.
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