54 Comments

"One of those robberies resulted in the accidental shooting death of one of the dealers who had formerly been a friend" seems remarkably evasive. He doesn't seem to take responsibility. It was a "robbery" that "resulted" in an "accidental shooting death." No, someone killed the man.

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Congratulations Johnny for have turned around your life and for reaching an amazing academic milestone! You have the power to be a beacon in black communities and to show young men that there are alternatives in life that will bring happiness and value to their community.

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I think you are asking the wrong question. What do we owe? Nothing. What he did he can never repay so the debt remains even when he is freed.

Perhaps the better question is what has he earned? He didn't just serve his time Mr. Pippins invested in it. He repented, which means literally turn one your life around and go in a new direction. Perhaps, he earned an opportunity to continue going in the direction he has been traveling for so many years now. He's earned a chance at least to from the telling of the story from his perspective.

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I hope you will help this man. His letter is a powerful testimonial of a life remarkably reclaimed!

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He deserves a release! I will pray for his release. We need him!

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Q: What do we owe those who have paid their debt? A: Grace

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Keeping him in prison is waste at this point regardless. Society will benefit from his release and his family will also. The Ph.D. program adds to the urgency. I hope he is released in time.

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How can we help? I am praying for him and his family and will spread his story.

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Prisoner Review Board has not had hearings because of Covid? Why - because it is not an “essential” service? The Bay Area had televised immigration hearings where the defendant “attended” the court room via Television screen from the remote location of county jail. This was 3 years before Covid. And what about zoom? I do not promise to write a letter, but I am placing that task in a category of higher priority.

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Wow. How can we help?

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Dr. Loury,

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I have NO idea what I can do, but I want to do something. I guess I can start by sharing this with those in my social media circle who are concerned with justice issues.

I must say -as you did- that Mr. Pippin's effort and results under adverse circumstances are remarkable and inspiring.

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Jesus, that's humbling. Not just the story but his forthright telling of it.

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Can Mr. Pippin defer his start for one or two semesters w/o it affecting his financial aid? Most graduate programs allow this for special circumstances. Or as someone else said, can he start online and transition to campus upon release? Also, do you know if a petition has been circulated on MoveOn.org or a similar site? That could garner a lot of public attention and move the governor’s office to action before August.

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founding

If everything he is saying is true (drug dealer accidental shooting death), i think a case can be made that he should have gotten out sooner than 30 years even if he had a prior record as they did not prey on innocent and/or vulnerable people; they went after powerful, strong people dealing in ill gotten gains and the death was accidental. I think this does make a difference. For the stability of a society, people have to be held accountable for their unlawful deeds even when they themselves are victims of growing up in an environment that abets criminal activity, but i think he has been held accountable and then some.

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founding

Can we do anything to help?

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Glen, if you're not able to reach the Illinois governor or someone else with authority to intervene on behalf of Mr. Pippins, how about galvanizing some BLSA groups at law schools where students have been so active searching for reasons to take offense and getting professors fired? Seriously, if law students care about people other than their privileged selves, then advocating for Mr. Pippins would be a fine way to develop their legal skills and demonstrate their commitment to real social justice.

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