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I am an Illinois’s State prisoner, serving a natural sentence not for murder or rape but for attempted armed robbery. No one was hurt or harmed. *ALL THE MONEY WAS RETURNED RIGHT BACK! I have been unlawfully incarcerated for over 30 years and counting.

I hope and pray that you will aid me in my quest for Justice and Freedom. I know and understand that you do not know me personally. But hopefully you will get to know me thru reading my story. I am reaching out at large asking people such as yourself to help me correct this miscarriage of justice that has happened to me. Please get involved by writing a concerning letter of justice denied.

First, I want to make you aware that a petition for Executive Clemency/Commutation of Sentence was filed on my behalf. That petition was denied in November 2007. The purpose was to correct a substantial injustice and incorrect sentence. But I am left with a “in house death sentence”, for a crime against property. This is truly cruel and unusual punishment.

The sentence is based on a misinterpretation and inappropriate application of statutory law by the sentencing court. I am only seeking commutation of the sentence. The Governor, is my only hope now.

On June 16, 1977 when I was 15 years old I made the mistake of pleading guilty to an armed robbery. All the particulars relate to my plea and juvenile status. After I became an adult I was charged with another robbery, first time as an adult. The State petitioned the court to sentence me to an extended term sentence. However in 1979 the sentencing judge, Judge Thomas P. Crowley denied their request knowing that it was my first conviction at 17 years old. In 1987 the State’s Attorney asked the court after I had been convicted of attempted armed robbery to classify me as a habitual criminal. I was subsequently sentence to a term of natural life.

It was never explained to me as juvenile, when I pleaded guilty at 15 that as a possibility in the future it would be used as a predicate to classification as a habitual criminal. This wasn’t the law in 1977.

However Public Act 80-1099, came in effect February 1st, 1978. Which means that three convictions from that date of 1978. I only have two convictions, the first one in 1979 and second in 1987.

When the Legislature enacted the Habitual Statute, their intent was to impose the most severe punishment upon adults who had committed serious crimes such as murder and serial rapists. Not for someone convicted of attempted armed robbery.

I have done more time more time than most murders and rapists. I should not have to spend the rest of my natural life incarcerated without hope for a crime of attempted robbery. I have been rehabilitated.

I am sure you have seen or heard many request for help with individual’s legal matters/affairs. I have a valid claim in regards to the foregoing matter. One of my co-defenders (A.B.) received 12 years and the other (D.B.) received 18 years. Both have been home for years. But I received a Natural Life Sentence, for what really is a non-violent property crime of attempted armed robbery. No harm was done, and all the money was returned with a peaceful surrender to the police. The sentence was not intended for and should not apply to me in which I am sorry for!!! The punishment just doesn’t fit the crime.

The Governor has the Constitutional role in our state of acting in the interest of justice and fairness. 
Our state constitution provides broad power to the Governor to issue reprieves, pardons, and commutations. Our Supreme Court has reminded inmates petitioning them that while errors and farness questions may actually exist and cannot be recognized under judicial rule and procedural mandates, the last resort for relief is the Governor. 

Mr. Harris, petitioned for clemency/commutation of sentence on January 15, 2014.  A hearing was held, that decided the only hope of life is Governor Ramner.  Life without parole is ultimately a denial of justice denied for attempted robbery, with no violence in the crime.
I’m asking that you write a letter of support of me. Asking that you have read my quest for freedom and that commutation of sentence be 30 years of incarceration.

Write the Governor at:

Office of the Governor
Attn:  Bruce Rauner, Governor
100 W. Randolph St., Suite 16
Chicago, IL  60601

Docket #31940

I appreciate you taking time out to read my story. I hope you will write in support of me getting my freedom back and being taking off this in-house death row sentence. Thank you for your valuable time and help.

You can also send emails to

Contact Charles Now

Charles Harris #A92120
Menard CC
PO Box 1000
Menard, IL 62259 USA

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Information about Charles and Criminal Case
Crime/charges being challenged: Armed Robbery City and state where the alledged crime occurred: N/A, N/A
Crime state or federal: N/A Able to provide complete copies of your case by postal mail: No
Prison conduct while incarcerated: N/A Type of legal counsel for original trial: N/A
Seeking help with legal research: No Lead arresting agency for your case: N/A
Correspond Overseas: Yes Race: African American
Date of Birth: 9/11/1961 - 56 Sex: Male
Seeking Donations: No HomeTown: Chicago, IL
Profile Started On: 11/1/2015 Profile Ends On: 11/1/2016
Incarceration Information
Earliest Release Date:N/AOn Death Row:NoServing Life Sentence:Yes
Latest Release Date:LifeIncarcerated Since:1986Incarcerated For:See Crime

Official Links: This person is incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Community Information: If you have questions or information to share about this particular Department of Corrections or prison, please visit our .

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