pictured L to R: Underwood’s daughters: Ebony, Miko, Senator Cory Booker and Underwood sons: Justin & Anthony
Please READ Senator Cory Booker’s social media post on the need to FIX the broken criminal justice system:
Here I am in my office with the four children of William Underwood, a 62 year old man I met in August at a federal prison in Fairton, NJ where he is currently serving a life-sentence for a nonviolent drug crime. In addition to being a devoted dad, Mr. Underwood is now a grandfather to three grandchildren. In 1976, he attended Columbia University for a year before leaving to pursue his passion as a music promoter, eventually promoting artists like Ray Charles and Michael Jackson.
Mr. Underwood was arrested in 1988 and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. His offense? A nonviolent drug crime. Since his conviction, he has a pristine prison record, and has several offers of employment if released. Yet if things don’t change, he will die in prison. When I met with Mr. Underwood in August, he told me how he sold drugs before his music career to escape poverty, and he was remorseful. The man that stood before me was an intelligent, capable, a dedicated father, and an atoned man. He has accepted responsibility for his crime. America is the land of second chances. It’s time we lived up to that and show mercy to a man who has served almost 3 decades in prison, someone whose incarceration costs American taxpayers 100s and 100s of thousands of dollars, to someone who deserves it. In his own words, Mr. Underwood has talked about the reality of such harsh penalties, saying “this sentence means no matter how long I live, no matter how much my life has changed, no matter what steps I take to better myself, no matter how many laws have changed – I can never, ever, leave prison alive.” Is that not cruel and unusual punishment?
What’s worse is that Mr. Underwood is not unique. Today, far too many Americans languish behind bars sentenced to die in prison for committing nonviolent drug crimes.
READ Senator Booker’s FULL post: Your text to link here…