Shortly after Christmas in 1995, police entered a middle class home looking for a meth lab, the warrant was based upon the words of a “reliable” informant. They found no meth, but even more shocking– they found a marijuana garden so large that it could supply all of Tulsa, and perhaps the whole region.
While people in medical marijuana states such as California might not consider a five foot by five foot garden a threat to the security of the state. In Oklahoma the prosecution and the courts take this crime very seriously. After all, you have to consider the children. What if he started wholesaling his crop in counties all over the state? When you shoot marijuana you only need a little bit to change your mental state, so the yield of that garden, probably 25 pounds or more, could annihilate the youth of a whole town such as Tulsa.
But the people of Oklahoma are not just self righteous but they are prone to justice. So the 93 years that the jury recommended for Will Foster must have been considered from a spiritual point of view and fostered by their fundamentalist ministers. Funny thing about that sentence, the Oklahoma Supreme Court regarded it as cruel and unusual punishment and found that its length was unconstitutional. Will Foster wasn’t that much of a criminal; he could be reformed in only 20 years.
I could go on and give you the whole story again but you’ve read it, you’ve listened to it, and you helped get the California charges dropped through the Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Blogspot letter campaign. You know what its all about.
The news on the case is that the California charges were dropped and he wasn’t found guilty. Withdrawing the charges, California has moved forward Will’s extradition to Oklahoma. The governors of both states, Gov. Brad Henry of Oklahoma and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California have signed the extradition warrant, it has been served, and if the situation does not change in the next 25 days, Will will be escorted back to Oklahoma in chains.
This case is unique in circumstance but it is really quite ordinary, a person who used marijuana as medicine is busted, harassed and jailed- it happens every day. Somehow though, this case is a little more important because it is symbolic. The people of California probably don’t want Will extradited, they believe it is unfair as well as being an unnecessary financial burden on a state nearing bankruptcy, but the justice factory churns on spewing our broken citizens.
We need some cogs in this wheel. Will needs your help. Check back on my blog www.edrosenthal.blogspot.com to stay informed on how you can help. Email me at [email protected] You can also join me on Facebook.com for more information, search [email protected]
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Please send the following letter to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry. Instructions are provided below.
To Email Gov. Schwarzenegger: click the following link http://gov.ca.gov/interact , choose “need help” – Type in your first and last name along with your email. Choose “Pardon Request” as your subject and click submit, this should bring you to the form where you can copy and paste the letter.
To Email Gov. Brad Henry: click the following link http://www.ok.gov/governor/message.php and fill out the required information. Under Okalahoma counties choose “Tulsa”, When choosing your affiliation we recommend you choose Political Advocate.
William Joseph Foster, D.O.B. 9-12-1958
Oklahoma Incident # 687031 – 12-29-1995
Oklahoma Case # CF-96-49
Oklahoma Docket # 751133
California DOC #252721
Dear Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,
I am writing to you out of extreme concern regarding the extradition of William Foster.
Tulsa Police originally arrested William Foster in December of 1995. He suffers from degenerative arthritis, and although he knew it was illegal, he chose to treat his condition with medical marijuana rather than costly and harmful pharmaceuticals. He was convicted after his 5’x 5’ marijuana garden was raided and sentenced to 93 years in prison. After media attention (Dateline NBC, 20/20 ABC, Frontline, BBC and more) to the cruel and unusual sentencing of Will, a first time non-violent offender, Foster was re-sentenced to 20 years.
In 2001, after serving 4 ½ years of his 20 year sentence, he was released and as a condition of his parole was told to leave the state. He moved to Santa Rosa, California –with permission from Oklahoma- and kept monthly contact with his parole officer.
Due to administrative complications, Oklahoma issued a warrant for Foster and he was taken into custody in 2008. Oklahoma has now issued an extradition warrant for Foster, claiming he is a fugitive of justice, which was signed by both Governor Brad Henry and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I am writing you to request that you pardon Will Foster and cancel the extradition. It is in the interest of justice and the taxpayers of both states that Foster’s extradition be canceled. Limited resources would be more wisely spent containing violent offenders rather than extending the incarceration and prosecution of a non-violent crime.