Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Demand a Pardon for Raquel Nelson

Okay, I'm dipping a toe back into the world of blogging for just one quick moment, because I feel so passionately about this story and want to spread the word as much as possible. I hope you'll forgive me if I blatantly copy info from our friends at Transportation for America, rather than coming up with my own:

Raquel Nelson, a metro Atlanta mother, was crossing the street from a bus stop to her apartment complex with her three children after a long trip that included an hour plus wait between buses. Along with a handful of fellow passengers headed to the apartment complex, she unsurprisingly chose to cross the street at the bus stop rather than walk more than half a mile in the dark to the nearest traffic signal and back with her tired children.

They were struck by a hit-and-run driver, killing her youngest son.

Then the unbelievable happened: Cobb County charged this grieving mother, who did not even own a car at the time, with vehicular homicide and other charges, carrying a potential sentence of 36 months in jail. A jury of six – none of whom had ever taken a local bus – convicted her July 12. The judge sentenced her to 12 months’ probation, community service, and the burden of paying court costs. In the face of widespread outcry, she also offered her the option of a retrial, and Nelson intends to exercise that right to clear her name.

But we think she should never have been charged in the first place.

Please consider signing Transportation for America's petition to the Georgia Governor and the Cobb County Solicitor General requesting her immediate pardon or refusal to prosecute her again in a new trial.

You can find additional information about the case on the Transportatino for America blog here.

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