Release my mother, son of terminally ill blind prisoner asks Gov. Jerry Brown

Join the press conference sponsored by Families to Amend California Three Strikes (FACTS) on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 11 a.m., in the Governor’s office, 300 South Spring St., downtown Los Angeles, to discuss the possibility of parole for Patricia Wright

by Alfey Ramdhan

Senate Bill 1399, Medical Parole, authored by state Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, reduces spending in California by allowing parole of severely medically incapacitated inmates posing no threat to public safety.

Senate Bill 1399 creates a medical parole process to alleviate the burden on taxpayers of providing expensive medical care and around-the-clock armed guards for inmates who are permanently medically incapacitated.

California spends millions of dollars every year guarding physically incapacitated prisoners. California has a $10 billion budget deficit. California taxpayers will spend nearly $2 billion to pay for the health care needs of state prisoners. A large percentage of those funds are used for a small group of severely incapacitated inmates.

Offenders sentenced to death or life without the possibility of parole are not eligible for medical parole. The only hope these offenders have is clemency from Gov. Jerry Brown. A crime involving receiving stolen property worth $400 or more is considered a felony in California.

My mother, Patricia Wright, received two felonies each for two 99-cent toys I stole in 1989 when I was 7 years old. I am now 28. In March 2011, Gov. Brown was willing to sign my mother’s clemency application until the governor discovered my mother had two felonies for these two toys.

California Penal Code Section 4802 states: “In the case of a person twice convicted of felony, the application for pardon or commutation of sentence shall be made directly to the Governor, who shall transmit all papers and documents relied upon in support of and in opposition to the application to the Board of Prison Terms.”

My mother, Patricia Wright, received two felonies each for two 99-cent toys I stole in 1989 when I was 7 years old. I am now 28. In March 2011, Gov. Brown was willing to sign my mother’s clemency application until the governor discovered my mother had two felonies for these two toys.

The New York Innocence Project, co-directed by Barry Scheck, has accepted and is currently investigating Patricia’s criminal case. None of the DNA evidence from her case matched for the third strike, which is a different criminal case.

My mother, who was incarcerated in 1991, is diagnosed with fourth stage terminal cancer. She is severely incapacitated and has been housed at Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, Calif., the past 16 years. I am hopeful that Gov. Brown will be willing to sign and approve clemency for my mother, Patricia Wright.

Patricia’s blog is www.nancylockhart.blogspot.com . Her petition: please grant compassionate medical release for Patricia Wright at PatriciaWright.change.org

More reasons to support the release of Patricia Wright

Geri Silva of FACTS writes: “Patricia Wright has terminal cancer and has been given six months to live. In 1998, Wright was convicted of killing her husband, a crime which was committed 17 years before. There was NO evidence to link her to the crime and absolutely NO motive which had any merit. The esteemed Innocence Project has taken her case.

“The family has been fighting for her freedom since her conviction, but now their fight takes on renewed vigor. They want Patricia to be allowed to come home to spend her last days with her family. The governor has been asked to grant her clemency and, though he is sympathetic, he insists that his hands are tied because Wright has three felonies on her record. Those three felonies consist of a murder she did not commit and the ‘theft’ of two 99-cent toys taken by her 7-year-old son in June 1989.

They want Patricia to be allowed to come home to spend her last days with her family.

“The family has been informed by the Senate Public Safety Committee that according to California penal codes 4851and 4852, the governor has power to grant pardon and clemency without going through the Parole Board or the Supreme Court. According to Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes, FACTS, and all in support of Patricia, he has not only the right, but a moral imperative to release Patricia immediately.”

Wendy Jason, in “Patricia Wright Deserves Freedom,” writes: “Arletta Wright has spent the last 14 years advocating for her sister. …

“According to Arletta, Patricia is ‘the kind of person who will give you the clothes off her back.’ When she was 18, she bought her disabled mother her first home after saving her earnings from after-school jobs for three years. One of eight children, Patricia took on the role of primary caregiver for her younger siblings when their mother passed away. Arletta recalls that Patricia often took in homeless people, and was always the first to step up when someone needed help.

“In the 14 years that she’s been incarcerated, Patricia has missed her own five children’s high school graduations and weddings, as well as the births of her six grandchildren. …

“There’s no reason for Patricia to remain incarcerated. She poses no risk to society and it doesn’t appear that she ever did. Further, releasing the 1,500 sickest inmates would save $500 million, notes Isaac Ontiveros, communications direct for the group Critical Resistance, echoing comments made by J. Clark Kelso, the federal receiver in charge of the state’s $1.5 billion annual prison health system. Even those who listen to their wallets more than their hearts should be able to see the rationale in sending Patricia home to those who love her.