5,000 signatures reached
To: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
Bring Sundiata Home
Release 84 year old Sundiata Acoli to time served. Bring Sundiata Home
Why is this important?
I urge you to exercise your executive power to release Sundiata Acoli by commuting his sentence to time served. Mr. Acoli (formerly Clark Squire) is 84 years old and has been incarcerated nearly 48 years. He was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for the 1973 killing of State Trooper Werner Foerster. He has taken responsibility and expressed remorse. For the past 27 years Sundiata has had a completely clean disciplinary record and is a strong candidate for commutation.
Sundiata has strong family support and they are prepared to care for him. Further evidence of the fact that he presents no risk to public safety, is that he has been assigned to teach the Federal Bureau of Prisons’s course in Avoiding Criminal Thinking, since 2013. This program teaches younger men how to avoid recidivism. As you know, there is a presumption of release on parole in New Jersey unless it is clearly demonstrated that there is a risk to public safety. However, Sundiata has been denied parole 6 times despite all the compelling evidence in his favor and the fact that he successfully prepared dozens of his peers for release.
Sundiata Acoli is elderly, with significant health complications including residual symptoms resulting from his hospitalization last year for COVID-19. His battle with the deadly virus resulted in his loss of 30 lbs. His increasing and irreversible health issues include cardiac disease, emphysema, glaucoma and advancing dementia and exacerbate the urgency of this situation. Mr. Acoli’s condition is progressing and if not given commutation, he and his family will never benefit from his release. Sundiata Acoli is the very model of a person deserving of release as was the intent of the 1979 Parole Act. At 84 years of age, with dementia and declining health, he is no threat or danger to society. A simple sense of basic compassion and human kindness cry out for commutation. In this historic moment, you have an opportunity to exercise justice removed from the desire for revenge, hate and punishment. Bring Sundiata Acoli home now.