We just wanted to inform people that sometime in May Debbie (Sims) Africa will be going before The Pa Parole Board for what will be her now 7th parole hearing since 2008 . We are putting together a parole sample sheet and are asking that people sign it or write their own letter of parole in support of Debbie for her upcoming hearing people can mail Their letters of support for Debbie’s Parole to The Move Organization p.o.box 19709 Philadelphia pa 19143. Time is short so we need as many letters as possible
Please take a moment to write a letter in support of parole for Debbie prior to her next hearing scheduled for in or after May 2014. Letters can be sent to The Move Organization at P.O. Box 19709, Philadelphia, PA 19143. Please make sure your letter arrives by May 1st.
Board of Probation and Parole
Attn: Inmate Inquiry
1001 South Front Street, Suite 5300
Harrisburg, PA 17104
Regarding Parole Hearing for: Debbie Sims OO-6307
Debbie Sims has her next parole hearing scheduled for May of 2014. As a concerned citizen interested in helping Debbie successfully transition into life outside prison, I am writing to ask that you please parole her at this hearing. She has served over 35 years of a 30-100 year sentence for third-degree murder, even though the average sentence for that charge is 10-15 years. She is still in prison years after her minimum sentence, despite having no major disciplinary problems in the last three decades.
The document provided to Ms. Sims for her last parole denial in June 2013 lists the reasons for the denial as:
“Your minimization/denial of the nature and circumstances of the offense(s) committed,” and
“The negative recommendation made by the prosecuting attorney.”
I am concerned that Ms. Sims maintaining her innocence is seen as an attempt to minimize or deny the nature and circumstances of the offense(s), even while there is evidence that corroborates that the shot was fired from a location where it is well known she was nowhere near. This phenomenon is referred to as “the innocent prisoner’s dilemma” by law professor Daniel Medwed who asserts that it is unfair and unethical to require a prisoner who may have been wrongly convicted to provide false admission of guilt or remorse.
In regards to the negative recommendation made by the prosecuting attorney, I believe this is outweighed by the fact that the officials at SCI Cambridge Springs, where Ms. Sims is held, have recommended her for parole. These are the prison guards and personnel that she has contact with on a day-to-day basis as opposed to the prosecuting attorney who has had no contact with her at all in decades.
Debbie Sims has now spent most of her life in prison, and the recidivism rate for people released at her age is very low. Please grant parole and allow her to be a part of, and contribute to, society as free citizen, a loving mother and grandmother.