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write the governor
Hi, everyone. The letter-writing campaign to the governor of New York will only end if we let it end. If you’d like to let the governor’s office know how you feel about this, you can use the information below.
- If you want to e-mail the governor, you can do that from this page.
- If you'd rather call the office of the governor, here's the number: (518) 474-8390
- Or you might want to print your letter and mail it to:
David A. Paterson
Governor of New York
Albany, NY 12224-0341
Dear Governor Paterson:
In the summer of 2006, seven young women from New Jersey, Venice Brown, Khamysha Coates, Terrain Dandridge, Lania Daniels, Renata Hill, Patreese Johnson, and Chenese Loyal, were spending some of their leisure time in New York City's West Village when Dwayne Buckle, a man selling DVDs on the street, sexually propositioned Patreese Johnson. Refusing to take no for an answer, he followed the young women down the street, insulting them and yelling threats. He spat in Renata's face and threw his lit cigarette at her, then he yanked another's hair, pulling her towards him, and then he began strangling Renata. A fight broke out, during which Patreese Johnson, 4 feet 11 inches tall and 95 pounds, produced a small knife from her bag to stop Buckle from choking her friend.
Two male onlookers, one of whom had a knife, ran over to physically deal with Buckle in order to help the women. Buckle, who ended up hospitalized for five days with stomach and liver lacerations, initially reported on at least two occasions that the men—not the women—had attacked him. What's more, Patreese's knife was never tested for DNA, the men who beat Buckle were never questioned by police, and the whole incident was documented on surveillance video. Yet the women ended up on trial for attempted murder, throughout which the judge, Edward J. McLaughlin, ridiculed and expressed open contempt for the women in front of the jury. As a result, four of the women ended up being convicted and sentenced in June 2007 to jail terms ranging from 3 1/2 to 11 years.
It is difficult to justify these women being brought to trial for anything, much less murder, and almost impossible to credibly explain the sentences brought down on them. This letter is to ask you to consider clemency for Patreese Johnson, the woman who remains in prison despite having committed no crime. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
send money or gifts
will allow you to order items that are approved by the NY State Department of Corrections and have them shipped directly to Patreese.