Free Alethia Jones
Demand Ron DeSantis and members of the Florida Cabinet Support Alethia Jones’ Clemency Petition.
Alethia Jones is a mother, sister, and friend to those who know her. After serving 17 years of a life plus 30-year sentence for a non-violent drug offense, we call on Florida’s Executive Clemency Board, led by Governor Ron DeSantis, to support Alethia’s return to her son and grandson who need her home by approving her clemency petition.
Our neighbor, Alethia, has languished in prison for 17 years for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was arrested and charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell or distribute within 1000 ft of a church, sale of crack cocaine within 1000 ft of a church, and possession of drug paraphernalia because she was in the car with her sister while a transaction took place. Alethia was not involved in the drug transaction.
Her sister received four years in prison on a plea deal. Alethia, who refused to admit wrongdoing, was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
Her experience highlights the inequity and racism baked into our criminal justice system, from mandatory minimum sentencing to biased juries. Her story represents the painful and all too common realities of a society that over-invests in police and prisons while underinvesting in the things that make communities safe, healthy, and whole including mental health care, affordable housing, job training, and substance abuse treatment. While Alethia struggled with addiction she was repeatedly met with handcuffs, not treatment.
Her case was heard by an all-white jury because no effort was made by her lawyer to diversify the jury. In fact, Highlands County judges, where Alethia was sentenced, sentence Black people to more than double the time of whites for felony drug crimes.
While incarcerated, Alethia has been focused on treating her additions, enrolling in GED courses, advocating for wrongfully incarcerated women and embarking on her personal transformation.
Alethia’s charges and sentencing were the product of a racially biased system to begin with. When black mothers languish in jail because of the crooked criminal justice system, our communities and families suffer.After 17 years, she deserves the opportunity to watch her grandson grow up. Support Alethia’s clemency petition!