URBAN EXODUS community, I need your help.
Matthew Ross of @Blackhavenranch is facing three felony counts for alleged online Facebook threats. He could be sentenced to up to fifteen years in prison.
This is a perfect example of the persistent gross inequality in our current criminal justice system. Please join me in writing a letter to his judge before sentencing on December 14th.
At the bottom of this blog post is my letter so you can easily cut, paste and add your own sentiments. If you haven’t listened to Matthew’s interview in season two, I recommend do. The episode really speaks to his character and his beautiful vision for the future.
Please write a letter. It will take 15 minutes and that 15 minutes could mean 15 years of time he will get to watch his five children grow into young adults.
Be. The. Change. I’m counting on you.
Email your letter to Matthew’s attorney firstname.lastname@example.org before his sentencing on December 15th, 2021
MY LETTER TO USE AS AN EXAMPLE or TEMPLATE
Dear Chief Justice Pallmeyer,
My name is Alissa Hessler and I am writing today to plead leniency in the sentencing of Matthew Ross on December 14th.
I have been a friend and supporter of Matthew for the last three years. I know him to be an upstanding citizen, a community leader, a minister, a talented musician, an urban homesteader and a family man. He has never harmed anyone, nor is he a threat to society. His greatest desire is to build a sustainable homestead with his family and live a life of peace and service.
I am a journalist and documentary filmmaker and have connected with Matthew on many occasions - including an interview for the Urban Exodus podcast. I know him to be an honest, hardworking, kind and non-violent human being. His driving force is his desire to build a good life for his five children, live off the land, and live in harmony with the natural world.
In my opinion, these charges demonstrate the gross inequality of our current justice system. I am certain that Matthew would not be facing three felony counts for alleged online threats if he were a white man. There are so many white nationalist groups who target and threaten people online and never receive any legal repercussions for their actions.
I know you understand the inequity, complexities and failings of our current criminal justice system and I really appreciate your work in appointing a Racial Justice Diversity Committee in your district. I believe you to be an honorable judge and I hope you are able to see the injustice in these charges and see Matthew Ross as the person I know him to be.
He deserves to be free of these charges and be able to live in peace with his family.