Description for the petition:
This petition is requesting your support for the release of Rodney Derrickson from his wrongful conviction to Delaware County District Attorney, Board of Pardons, and Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. Rodney, was wrongly arrested and convicted as a juvenile in October of 1995, for a homicide and robbery in an alleged drug deal gone bad. Rodney is innocent, and has suffered 26 years of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit!
In November of 2018, Rodney’s sentence was vacated due to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Miller v. Alabama, founding that sentencing juvenile offenders to mandatory life without parole for homicide offenses violated the 8th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. Rodney, was resentenced 30 years to life making him parole eligible in December of 2024, which is unconscionable considering he is innocent. The conviction and sentence was based upon an overwhelming miscarriage of justice because he was home at the time of the crime occurred. Rodney’s conviction is highly questionable! For example Rodney’s first trial ended in a hung jury, and at his second trial, the prosecution relied on extremely questionable eyewitness testimony placing Rodney at the scene of the murder that was weak, inconsistent, unreliable and in direct contradiction to the medical examiner and prosecutor’s own gun expert findings. Rodney’s resentencing of 30 years to life was wrong; he should have been released and not wait more years to rot in prison for a crime he didn’t commit!
Since Rodney’s years in prison, he received his GED, certifications as a Peer Support Specialist, Paralegal, and OSHA training. Rodney successfully completed programming such as Violence Prevention, Vocational Training, Parenting, Long Term Offenders, Living Under Parole Supervision, Victim Awareness, Restorative Justice, and many other classes and self-help groups. He’s currently enrolled in the Pittsburgh-Bradford University criminal justice program. He also served in several leadership roles in administratively approved inmate organizations wherein he mentored and assisted other prisoners in social awareness, growth, development and emphasizes the importance of returning back the outside community and become positive role models. Rodney has solid plans for his reentry including support from family and friends, a standing job offer, acceptance letters from community organizations that provide transitional support, the desire to mentor at-risk youth, and pursue a college degree! Why is Rodney still in prison? He should be released immediately from his wrongful conviction, and unjust sentence. By signing this petition you can join the fight to help secure Rodney’s release through a Conviction Integrity Review Unit, a recently filed Pennsylvania Board of Pardons Application for Clemency, and/or the Pennsylvania Board of Probation & Parole. Thank you for your support of Rodney Derrickson’s release!!!