Billy received clemency from President Obama

Billy grew up on a farm in Northern Florida.  As a child he dreamed of being a cowboy.  This fantasy evaporated when he was in high school and discovered the thrill of flying.  It was his love then and after twenty plus years behind bars he still dreams of it.

Florida in the 70s was a mecca for the pot smuggling cowboys.  It was common and many boys with a sense of adventure living in this hard scrabble area tried their hand at it.  Billy was no exception.  His plane did not carry tons, but it was sufficient to pass the bar.

When Billy was arrested in 1990 o a federal indictment he had several state offenses, but the law had changed and this was a much more serious situation.  Because of the magnitude of the charging, Billy went to trial and received the sentence that is common to nonviolent marijuana offenders who are charged with conspiracy and go to trial – life without parole.

Billy is paying a steep price for living the Jimmy Buffett dream.  Billy’s family had a history of employment in law enforcement.  His father was employed by the Florida Department of Corrections and his mother was a teacher.  Billy’s older brother was a state attorney in Florida and his sister worked for the Florida Department of Corrections.  Billy had found satisfaction in riskier more exciting endeavors. 

Since Billy has been incarcerated he has worked regularly and diligently for UNICOR – The Prison Industry.  He has done exceptional work as a production clerk and has been an asset to the Business Office.  His evaluations use phrases like: Preforms in an outstanding manner, Very knowledgeable and through in his work, He expedites all assignments and Outstanding job.

Recently Billy was the object of a vicious plan conceived by a mentally ill violent inmate prior to the inmate taking his own life.  This is not uncommon, and these incidents haunt the lives of nonviolent inmates who are housed with the violent mentally ill.  Billy is not a threat to society and could be a productive member of any community.  He has two grown daughters who were 18 and 16 when he was incarcerated.  They would welcome their father.  He also has a wife who is a school administrator. 

This nonviolent marijuana offender should be released.