There’s a new petition taking off on Change.org, and we think you might be interested in signing it:
My name is Heather Minor and on February 6, 2001, when I was 7 years old, my life took a horrible turn when my father was sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. Without clemency from President Obama, he will die in prison.
When my father, Ricky Minor, was given his sentence I didn’t realize I was about to begin a journey that would become a new “normal” way of life for me – growing up without a father. Even though my dad was a first time nonviolent drug offender, under mandatory minimum sentencing laws he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On that same day, my mother was also arrested. My whole world as I knew it was completely destroyed. At the age of seven, both of my parents were taken away from me, and from that point forward I was raised by my elderly grandparents.
I am now 21 years old, the first in my family to graduate from high school, and taking additional classes to improve my life. However, while I am trying to make the best of my life, the realization that my father will die alone in prison is too much for me to fathom. My father was suffering from a drug addiction and trying to cope with it. He was not some “big time” drug dealer, but an addict struggling to support his habit who was a victim of an overly harsh and inflexible mandatory sentencing structure.
Even the sentencing federal judge hesitated to impose the life sentence. As my dad said at his hearing, “rapists, murderers and child molesters will be set free before me…where is the justice in that?”
My dad has now served over 14 years of his sentence – most of it over 700 miles from my home. I have grown from a small child to an adult only seeing him once or twice a year due to limited funds for travel and taxing health issues of my grandparents. The only opportunity I had to form a relationship with my dad was through weekly phone calls and occasional letters. It is heartbreaking.
I just want a chance to get to know my dad like every other daughter. Even though I know and he knows what he did was wrong, I think he has served more than enough to compensate for the crime he committed. He has paid the price of his crimes…but so have I, and I didn’t do anything wrong other than be a victim of parents with a drug addiction. He has completely rehabilitated himself by obtaining his GED, furthering his education, drug free and very health conscious including his diet and physical activities.
You can go to Change.org and sign online. Thanks.