Will Foster’s nightmarish saga continues. Foster, you may recall, is the medical marijuana patient who was sentenced to 93 years in prison for growing a few plants in 1997.
Thanks in no small part to a publicity campaign by Stopthedrugwar.org, Foster’s sentence was eventually reduced to 20 years, and he was paroled to California.
After three years on parole, California officials decided Foster no longer needed supervision, but Oklahoma officials disagreed. When Foster was arrested in California for driving on an Oklahoma drivers’ license, Oklahoma issued a parole violation extradition warrant, but Foster filed a successful writ of habeas corpus to quash that warrant.
Then, last year, Foster was arrested on bogus marijuana cultivation charges–those California charges were dropped after he spent a year in jail–and Oklahoma again sought his extradition as a parole violator. Oklahoma officials took Foster from the Sonoma County Jail in California, and he is now residing in prison in Oklahoma until 2011–or 2015, as Oklahoma parole officials are now claiming.
In Oklahoma, the governor ultimately decides on whether to revoke parole or not. Foster had an administrative hearing Tuesday, which unsurprisingly found he had indeed violated his parole (by refusing to sign paperwork agreeing that his sentence had been extended). An executive hearing will take place sometime in the next one to three months, then that decision goes to the governor for approval or rejection.
Foster and his supporters are urging the public to write to the parole board to ask it to recommend pardoning him or commuting his sentence, and to write or call the governor asking for the same thing. Key points:
* Foster is a non-violent medical marijuana patient seriously ill with rheumatoid arthritis;
* Foster plans to return to California and never set foot in Oklahoma again;
* The after-the-fact extension of his sentence from 2011 to 2015 is unfair and unwarranted;
* It does not make fiscal or budgetary sense for the state of Oklahoma to spend thousands of scarce public dollars to incarcerate Foster again for this non-violent offense.
I just spoke to the parole office in Oklahoma, and they don’t yet have the information in their system required to send letters to parole board members, so instead, fax your concise, respectful letters to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board at (405) 602-6437. Mention Foster’s full name, William Joseph Foster, and his prisoner number, ODOC #252271.
Fax your letter to Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry at (405) 521-3353 or, better yet, call his office at (405) 521-2342. In either case, mention Foster’s full name and prisoner number, and be polite.
– Article from Stop the Drug War (DRCNet).