Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ohio Governor John Kasich Grants Williams-Bolar Executive Clemency

The following comes from Color of Change regarding a great victory in a criminal court case in which Color of Change and US and international afrosphere and other bloggers publicly intervened:

Dear Atty,
There's great news today in the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Ohio mother who was convicted of a felony after allegedly misleading authorities and sending her children to a school outside her district. We just learned that Ohio Governor John Kasich granted Williams-Bolar executive clemency, reducing her convictions from felonies to misdemeanors. Gov. Kasich took this action despite the fact that Friday, the Ohio parole board made a unanimous recommendation against any form of clemency.
This is a huge victory, and it wouldn't have happened without the activism of ColorOfChange members, and our friends at and
  • When we first learned of the case in February, more than 67,000 ColorOfChange members called on Gov. Kasich to take a public stand and commit to pardoning Williams-Bolar.
  • We delivered your signatures to Gov. Kasich's office, along with thousands more from and — more than 165,000 signatures in all. The next day, Gov. Kasich responded to the public pressure by asking the state's parole board to review Williams-Bolar's case.
  • On Friday, Ohio's parole board finally came back with a recommendation for the Governor — to deny Williams-Bolar a pardon.
  • In response to the parole board's recommendation, many of you swung into action this week, calling Gov. Kasich's office and urging him to issue Williams-Bolar a pardon anyway. Today, Gov. Kasich announced that he would reduce Williams-Bolars felony convictions to first-degree misdemeanors.
Williams-Bolar will still be on probation and will need to complete 80 hours of community service; but she won't have a felony conviction following her for the rest of her life, limiting her opportunities. Thanks for getting involved — without your voice, things could have turned out much differently for Kelley Williams-Bolar. You should be proud.
At ColorOfChange, we'll continue to fight to end inequality in education and the criminal justice system, we hope you'll continue to be there with us. Remember, our work is powered by you, our members. If you can support our work financially, in any amount, please click the link below.
Thanks and Peace,
-- Rashad, James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the team
   September 7th, 2011
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