Shawn is putting together a clemency presentation for April to get his life without parole sentence commuted by Governor Kasich. The Governor and his clemency board agreed that the facts in his case meant that he should not face execution, but if he was too innocent to execute, why is he still facing a death sentence by any other name? Please assist his clemency appeal by signing and circulating his petition widely as well as writing to Governor Kasich (please send these letters to Shawn so that he can submit them with his presentation: Shawn Hawkins A218401, PO Box 57, Marion, OH 43302, USA) A sample clemency letter is shown below, however, please consider personalising it and giving reasons why you feel Shawn is deserving of his clemency.
Dear Honorable Governor John Kasich and Distinguished Members of the Ohio Board of Pardons and Paroles:
I am petitioning you in an effort to free Shawn Hawkins from unjustly having to serve a Life Sentence Without Parole for the murders of Terrance Richards and Diamond Marteen, which he did not commit. I firmly stand on the belief that Shawn is innocent and was wrongfully convicted of these crimes. In the interest of justice, I appeal to you to recommend and grant clemency in this matter.
The following reasons should be considered:
- · He is INNOCENT of the murders of Diamand Marteen and Terrance Richards.
- · 20 years to life was the deal offered by the prosecution in exchange for a guilty plea, which means he could easily have been home now, given his clean record, if he had admitted any part in the crime, so LWOP is a harsher sentence than was originally called for.
- · If he had gone back for a resentencing hearing instead of unwaveringly protesting his innocence, the options open to him would only have been 20-30 years to life.
- · In 2011, the Ohio Parole Board voted unanimously in his favor as a result of the many troubling facts and circumstances surrounding this case and you, Governor Kasich, saw fit to adopt this unanimous resolution, so if a death sentence is not a suitable sentencing option in their eyes, isn’t LWOP just a death sentence in another guise?
- · LWOP was only brought in as a sentencing option for Ohio inmates after this trial and so should not be considered appropriate in this case.
- · Nothing about Shawn Hawkins’ history nor his faultless prison record speaks to him being a violent individual, let alone a murderer.
- · He is INNOCENT of the crime for which he has been convicted, which is largely built around the false eyewitness testimony of a juvenile who was offered immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony and who has gone on to commit similar violent crimes in the intervening years.
I implore you to demonstrate your respect for justice by recommending clemency for Shawn. He has spent 24 years wrongfully incarcerated for this crime – 21 of those years on death row, not to mention that he came within six days of losing his life – and I now ask that you correct this wrong once and for all so that he can enjoy the remainder of his life a free man, as he deserves. I pray that you show compassion in your decision and would also like to thank you for your time and attention in this very serious matter.