After every screening people write to ask “what can I do?” The answer: “Lots!” Audiences already helped shave 70 years off Mark’s parole date!
Here’s the update:
After the film came out, Mark was paroled by Florida on March 13, 2015, but he remains in prison serving a one year parole-ineligible sentence. There will be a special hearing on February 24th in Tallahassee that may or may not free Mark from Florida custody. Your voice in this matters. Take time to write a letter to the Florida Commission on Offender Review, below. Mark has been through hell this year because Florida and Oregon (the prison system where Mark resides on Interstate Compact) failed to treat him as a parolee, instead relying on an outdated Florida sentencing file saying he had a LIFE sentence. Mark is holding on, but he’s getting old and time is running short.
3 things you can do:
- Write a Letter to the Commission at InmatesSupporter@fcor.state.fl.us that says “Let Mark go to California to serve his sentence with treatment and decency.” (The email generated will include suggested text only. Please feel free to personalize BUT leave Mark’s name and inmate #.)
Please remember, after years of working with the Commission, they paroled Mark last year. They have been a partner in working to restore justice. It’s the system itself that has not been fair with Mark this last year, setting him up to fail. Please keep that in mind when you write. Remember to include Mark’s name and FL inmate #073061
- Write a Letter to Jerry Brown, because after Florida, Mark owes California 4 more years for prison contraband convictions in the early 2000s (marijuana possession and a handcuff key). Please include “I am writing in support of Mark DeFriest #65604, a 55 year old Florida inmate whose detainers should be waived by California upon his release from Florida custody.” From the dropdown menu, choose “Pardon-Request.”
- Share the story where you can, when you can.
Together, we can make sure Mark DeFriest walks out of prison a free man.