A Change.org petition asking President Barack Obama to grant disgraced Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick clemency has received nearly 13,000 signatures. The author of the petition states that while Kilpatrick’s actions merit jail time, his 28 year prison sentence is too much.
“I am well aware of the things that Mr. Kwame Kilpatrick has done wrong. I believe he should pay for his wrong doings, but 28 years in prison is just too excessive.”
In 2013, Kilpatrick received one of the longest prison sentences handed down ever for a corruption case, which charges include bribery, fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. Kilpatrick along with his friend and business partner Bobby Ferguson were found guilty for running a criminal enterprise out of the mayor’s office. The U.S. Supreme Court declined Kilpatrick’s bid for a new trial back in June, and he’s currently serving his term at a federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma, the same prison President Obama visited.
“I recognize that yes, Kwame is not without fault and has done wrong and should have to pay for what he has done, but let us remember that we are not talking about a career criminal,” the petition reads. “We are talking about a man with multiple degrees who rose to Mayor in one of the major cities in the country when he could have fled the ruins of Detroit and taken his talents to Washington or the private sector.”
The petition is nearing 13,000 signatures and hopes to reach its goal of 15,000. There’s no word on whether or not the president has seen the petition or will take it seriously. As it stands, Obama has granted clemency to 774 inmates who committed non-violent crimes and will continue to do so until he leaves office.
While Kilpatrick, 46, is eligible for parole in 2037, the petition is pleading for his early release on the grounds of everyone deserves a second chance.
“Everyone deserves a second chance and I believe the City of the Detroit will be a better place with OUR Son out of prison and back home doing the work to rebuild his family, city and his reputation. Kwame is just too smart to be in prison and it is a disservice and an atrocity to lock him away for that long.”