Free Jacob Goodwin
Dear Mr. President,
A 22 year old man with no criminal record by the name of Jacob Scott Goodwin was convicted of a crime he didn't commit. He was sentenced harshly for it as well. His family has been burdened with the heartbreak of seeing their son be convicted, fighting an uphill battle the whole time to get him representation and justice. They now fight for justice in the appeal process, with the worry that justice will not prevail.
Jacob Goodwin was in Charlottesville to protest the removal of Confederate Statues. When law enforcement demanded that all protesters disperse, he was among those trying to leave.
As they were leaving, there was much chaos as Antifa and others who were on the opposite side of the issue continued to carry weapons and use them against others. Included in that crowd are Corey Long and Deandre Harris. Corey Long tried to grab a flag from a protestor by the name of Harold Crews, and when Mr.Crews tried to pull away from Corey Long, DeAndre Harris attacked Mr.Crews with a metal flashlight. Although it left a baseball sized knot on Mr.Crews' head, the Judge ruled that Harris "did not intend to harm him", and he suffered no consequences from his actions.
Jacob, in the melee and confusion, heard people yelling in reference to Harris' attack on Mr. Crews an ran to help subdue him. No injury was specified upon the initial questioning and examination of Harris to be caused by Jacob Goodwin. A requirement for convicting someone of malicious wounding.
Jacob's nature is evident in video evidence from that day--he was seen on video being hit in the head, not returning the blows. He pulled a young lady away from a mob before they started beating her, putting his shield between herself and himself.
Corey Long shot a flamethrower at a peaceful protester, grabbed their flags, taunted them, etc. and continued to carry a weapon after the crowds were told to go home (something they were not charged for), and he went free, all charged dropped.
His friend that day, DeAndre Harris, who was hitting people with objects and throwing soda cans, taunting them, etc., went free as well, all charges dropped. He has a criminal history---yet the Judge ignored the video evidence and let him go.
Jacob has a life that is clean of criminal wrongdoing--in a moment of attacks and confusion he reacted. And for that one small action Jacob doesn't go free. His charges aren't dropped. Because he is on the 'politically incorrect' side of the events in Charlottesville, he is treated more harshly than a long-time career criminal. There are rapists and gang members who have lighter sentencing than Jacob is receiving.
Further, he is not guilty of malicious wounding. He did not plan to attack DeAndre and didn't deliver a wound that can be concluded caused by Jacob, both of which are requirements for a malicious wounding conviction.
Let this young man start his life without the burden of a criminal conviction and lengthy supervised probation---the State did this for two long-time criminals, why not do it for a young man who never committed an illegal act up to that date in his life?
Let the State spend it's resources and allocate it's time to endeavors that actually protect and serve the community. Jacob being housed in a jail cell when he would be a working and productive member of society otherwise, is a waste. Jacob having to appeal this wrongful conviction is a waste of his family's hard-earned money and of the court's time. Jacob being monitored for years when he's not a dangerous man is a further waste of time and money. Jacob having potential employers see that he now has a felony will only harm his being a productive member of society, which helps no one.
Those who sign this petition are asking you to let justice prevail rather than punishing people for being on the 'wrong' side of issues, while ignoring actual crime. Putting this kind of burden on this kind of young man, and his family, is not justice.You have the power to take the burden off of this young man and his hard-working and worried family. Thank you.