Below is information for writing a letter to the President of the United States in support of Brandon Baxter’s clemency petition. Brandon’s current sentence is to serve 9 years and 9 months in prison, to be followed by supervised release for life; his clemency petition will ask that his sentence be commuted to time served in prison, to be followed by supervised release for a maximum of five years.
If you are able to write a supporting letter, please email a scanned copy of the letter (typed and signed) to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 20th. We will pass the letters on to his attorney to submit them with the clemency petition, and you can also let us know if you have any questions that we'll forward to his attorney.
Letter Format DATE GREETING: Dear President of the United States: BODY OF LETTER:
- Briefly discuss yourself – who you are, your position in work or your role in the community, and any points which could establish your ability to advise the President about why Brandon’s clemency petition should be granted.
- If you know Brandon personally and can offer some personal observations, you will want to mention this in your letter. It would be helpful to include descriptions of Brandon’s character, compassion, integrity, accomplishments, interests, education, family life, interaction with and treatment of other people, and your personal and/or professional relationship with him. Is he compassionate? Generous? Thoughtful towards others? Trustworthy? Hard worker? Good friend? Committed to making the world a better place? Explain why you think this way about him.
- When talking about Brandon and who he is, give SPECIFICS: Don’t just say he’s a good person; discuss the specific things he’s done that make him a good person. Examples or anecdotes which demonstrate who he is are incredibly important to helping develop a better picture of Brandon. You are encouraged to write an honest, straightforward portrait of Brandon. Do not hesitate to write from the heart, and/or emphasize anything you feel is important.
- Explain concrete reasons why Brandon’s sentence should be commuted. Possible things to consider writing about are: Why is his sentence too severe? In what ways has he matured or changed since he was sentenced? What are his plans for his life and helping others after prison? Base the reasons that you explain on your personal knowledge of Brandon and his situation.