To: President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis
Save Florida Inmate Damion Hayes from SHU
Damion Hayes is a mentally ill young man who was sentenced to life in prison after assaulting a neighbor without provocation during a mental health crisis. He caused no lasting damage but was excessively sentenced for behavior which resulted from being denied psychiatric treatment. Homelessness, imprisonment, and death should not be America's answer to mental illness. Replace imprisonment with treatment.
Why is this important?
Damion Hayes is a mentally ill young man who was sentenced to life in prison after assaulting a neighbor without provocation during a mental health crisis. Damion was wrongfully convicted of premeditated attempted murder although he had no animosity toward his neighbor, did not plan the assault, and caused no lasting damage. Hayes was refused mental health treatment before the incident. Hayes is not guilty due to his mental illness. He should not be held criminally responsible for behavior caused by a mental health crisis after being denied treatment.
Hayes has been incarcerated for roughly 14 years, mostly in solitary confinement. That is longer than some people were incarcerated for manslaughter. Please replace imprisonment with treatment for Damion Hayes. Nobody should be punished for having a common, treatable health disability. Fred Hayes, Damion's father, invites you to hear his radio interviews and read more about Damion's case at http://dogjusticeformentallyill.blogspot.com/2014/06/mental-illness-made-damion-hayes-fl.html .
Damion's father and mother are retired professionals, and his brother works with the Sheriff's Department. The family will provide a good support network for Damion Hayes if he is given a chance to leave prison and finally get the psychiatric treatment he needs and deserves. The U.N. determined that long-term isolation in solitary confinement is torture. Americans with disabilities deserve protection and treatment, not prison torture.
Taxpayers are sentenced right along with Damion if they must pay possibly millions of dollars to imprison this young man who had no prior offenses. Hayes was overly sentenced for behavior caused by deprivation of psychiatric treatment. Therefore, we respectfully request the White House and/or Florida's governor to please pardon Damion Hayes.