Charles Morton deserves a chance! Please release him!
The signees of this petition will be petitioning the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles; the Honarable Judge Shaunathan Bellof Dekalb County, Alabama; and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on the behalf of Charles Michael Morton, asking for his release on parole from the Alabama Department of Corrections. Some years ago the United States Supreme Court ruled that being released on parole is a privilege and that the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles does not have to give a reason for setting a person off for parole. That is the case of Charles Morton.Seven years ago, Charles was denied by the Board of Paroles and was given no explanation for their decision. Then three years ago, he again went up for parole and was set off for another three years, again without any explanation. Charles is an above average model inmate that has made outstanding and remarkable changes in his life. He has superceded any and all expectations put forth by the ADOC such as receiving his GED; a Computer Aided Drafting Degree in Mechanical, Civil, and Architectural Drafting; a Bachelors Degree in Theology; a Paralegal Degree;a long term Substance Abuse and Behaviorial Modification Program sponsored by the Clinton Administration called 'Crime Bill'; and many more accomplishments. What more can Charles do to prove the changes he has made? At the age of twenty, while under the influence of alcohol and drugs,Charles and his best friend made the decision to rob a man and it went terribly wrong. Charles was in the possession of a firearm which he chose to pull during the robbery. During the process, Charles accidently hit the trigger, firing the gun and the bullet hit his best friend. Needless to say, his best friend lost his life that day in a useless manner. Charles left the man they were originally robbing unharmed and it is a very well established fact, that Charles never willfully meant to harm anyone that day, especially his best friend. In transcripts of the deliberations, the District Attorney of Dekalb County was quoted in at least three different papers as saying, "Charles is very distraught by the fact he shot his best friend". That in itself shows that the DA never believed the shooting was intentional. Charles was appointed two attorneys by the State of Alabama and was advised to take a plea bargain of "murder". Charles was not told what type of murder but was told by his attorneys that he would be better off to take the plea and receive a life sentence compared to a twenty year sentence. He was advised that on a life sentence he would be out in six to eight years. With Charles only being twenty and this being his first felony, he took the advise of his attorneys and plead guilty. Little did he know but he was pleading guilty to Intentional Murder which he was innocent of. Charles should never have been indicted by the State of Alabama for Intentional Murder and definitly should not have been allowed to plead guilty to an Intentional Murder charge and receive a life sentence. Charles did make a horrible decision that day along with his best friend that unfortunately cost a life that is irreplaceable. Charles has grieved the death of his friend for 17 long years now and is very remorseful for the actions of that day. He has made every effort to accomplish the ultimate to prove he would be an asset to the community when released, and at this point, it would be an injustice to continue to keep Charles incarcerated depriving society of all he has to offer. Therefore, we the people of the United States and as signees of this petition ask for his parole to be granted so that he may become a faithful and law-abiding citizen of the community in which he will reside.