To: Ed Wall, DOC secretary, Dean Stensberg, WI parole Chairman, The Wisconsin State House, The Wisconsin State Senate, and Governor Tony Evers

second chance for Tommie Thames

Petition for the release of Tommie Thames #297592
WI Legislators
Parole Chairman Stensberg
Doc Secretary Edward Wall

Tommie Thames was 17 years old, a juvenile, when he was waived into adult court and given a 70 year sentence for first degree reckless homicide and attempted first degree homicide. The story is bizarre and seems something only a kid would do. He and two friends were playing with guns in the basement Tommie accidentally shot his friend in the head. Tommie, afraid to go to jail, attempted to hide the body. That was 21 years ago and he is 38 now, a mature man. He has been to the parole board three times and told each time that he must serve more time because of the nature of the crime. Yet there is nothing in his conduct that warrants more time; he has a very long list of accomplishments and only 2 major tickets gotten 14 years ago. Here are some of his accomplishments: HSED, welding, vocational and production welding, food production and he has his food management license. He took the victim impact program, challenge and possibilities which had an intense restorative justice component; he took a number of reentry modules; he tries his best to influence others to make better choices than he did; he helped pack meals for the ‘Feed my hungry children”; he learned to train service dogs, to help others.
We the undersigned ask why we are holding this man. Who benefits? He made really tragic mistakes 21 years ago and has paid for them and learned. Now we need him in society and the funds saved can be used to reinstate good programming and treatment within the prison or prevention programs in the community. Prisons are stuffed to overflowing and we have over 2500 prisoners stuck like Tommie. Most are rehabilitated because they took advantage of the good programming available before Truth in Sentencing was implemented. Again, why are we holding this man? Please do what you can to see that he is released.
Tommie Thames 297592; OSCI, PO box 3310, Oshkosh, WI 54903

Send to FFUP,c/o Peg Swan,29631 Wild Rose Drive, Blue River, WI 53518; (for more info:,608-536-3993)

Why is this important?

Tommie Thames made a big mistake as a young kid in trying to hide the body of his friend. The gun went off accidentally and he should have reported it immediately but he was a kid and knew no better. Research shows now that adolescents do not have the brain capacity to think about consequences- they are all in the now and make foolish decisions.
But why was this kid given70 years? We need him released now. He has rehabilitated himself and there is no just reason for keeping him.


Reasons for signing

  • I was incarcerated with Tommie at Oshkosh and served in the OSCI dog program with him for several years during which time I watched him transform on a continual basis to be a better version of himself everyday. He also helped me a great deal to be a better person each and every day. He and I worked for closely together as the lead groomers and trainers in the program, educating and training other individuals.
  • I am the mother of his only child which is a grown young lady now she will be 24 years old at the end of this year in 2017 and she has been without him this whole time i feel tommie deserves a 2nd chance he has been in there 22 plus years now he is doing good he is working taking class after class you keep him so busy so that he can't get into any trouble he has grown since then he is very mature now and under what he done he please give him a 2nd chance thank you for your time
  • I met Tommie during a visit to see the Journey Together dog training program at the prison. He was incredibly knowledgeable and excited about the work he was doing with the dogs. It is heartbreaking to hear that the court has sentenced him to 70 years in prison. The man I met this weekend would be a great addition to society, and has so much potential to share!