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Event Information:

  • Mon

    Monday, October 1st: Letter-writing to Commute the Sentences of the Virgin Island 3

    6:30 pmLAVA 4134 Lancaster Ave

    It’s time for our monthly letter-writing event again, but this time with a twist as the campaign to free the Virgin Island 3 kicks into high gear. Join us at LAVA at 6:30 pm for snacks and drafting letters in support of the Virgin Island 3, who have been locked up for 46 years and have just applied for commutation of their sentences by Governor Mapp.

    Like many aging prisoners, they are experiencing increasing health problems and pose NO RISK to the society they’ve been locked away from for nearly half a century. Because Governor Mapp’s term is ending and he is up for re-election this November, *now* is the time to contact him to urge for commutation of their sentences. This is it; all hands on deck!


    How you can help:

    1) Write a letter [ideally mail it the first week of October]

    Please start by writing a letter in support of the VI3’s application to both: Governor Mapp and Lt. Governor Potter. This is also a good time to urge folks you know who care about social justice to get on board with this campaign!

    Suggested letter format:

    Governor Kenneth Mapp
    Government House
    21-22 Kongens Gade
    Charlotte Amalie
    St. Thomas, VI 00802

    Lt. Governor Osbert Potter
    Office of the Lieutenant Governor
    1131 King Street, Suite 101
    St. Croix, VI 00820

    Re: Warren Ballantine, Meral Smith, and Beaumont Gereau

    Introduce yourself. This could include comments about your job, family or work in the community.

    Explain how you know their cases and/or how you may know them personally.

    Explain why you are concerned (if you are from the VI, explain how this affects your vote and if you are from elsewhere explain how commuting their sentences would positively influence society or your view of the VI).

    Some Issues are:
    1. Length of time in prison
    2. Their deteriorating medical conditions
    3. Aging and getting old
    4. No community threat (example: while they were housed in the St. Croix, they were actually allowed to go out in the community to religious services and to speak to/mentor at-risk youth, sometimes unsupervised, with no issues)

    Implore the Governor to commute their sentences. Explain that you understand that he eluded to this before he was elected and at the beginning of his term.

    Respectfully end your letter.

    2) Fax your letter [ideally the second week of October]:

    Fax the letter you wrote to the Governor’s office at: (340) 693-4374

    and the Lt. Governor’s office at: (340) 774-6953

    If you do not have a fax machine, you can send a free online fax using faxzero.com.


    3) Email your letter [ideally the third week of October]:



    4) Call the three officials in charge of reviewing the commutation applications [as much and as often as possible until further notice] to ask if they received your letter/fax/email:

    Governor Mapp’s Office: (340) 774-0001

    Lt. Governor Potter’s Office: (340) 774-2991

    Attorney General Claude Walker: (340) 773-0295

    Legal Counsel E. Henderson: (340) 712-2212

    Leave messages letting them know you support the commutation applications for Warren Ballentine, Beaumont Gereau and Meral Smith.

    A few talking points if desired, but feel free to keep it short and sweet:
    • After 46 years of incarceration, they are of seriously ailing health and are extremely unlikely to re-offend… Warren alone is on 6 different types of medication after a massive heart attack a year ago.
    • It is costing the state a TON of money to continue to house them and pay for medical care.

    Keep up the pressure until further notice! Governor Mapp is up for re-election on Nov 20th. If he does not win re-election, his last day to commute sentences is on January 4th, 2019.

    When you can, drop one or all of the Virgin Island 3 a note telling them about the actions you took on their behalf. You can also read about the campaign in Malik’s own words.

    Warren Ballentine #16-047
    Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
    415 US Highway 49N
    Tutwiler, MS 38963

    Beaumont Gereau #16-001
    Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
    415 US Highway 49N
    Tutwiler, MS 38963

    Meral Smith #16-024
    Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
    415 US Highway 49N
    Tutwiler, MS 38963

    At this event, we will also send birthday cards to political prisoners with birthdays in October: Skelly Stafford (the 3rd), Jamil Al-Amin (the 4th), Mike Africa & David Gilbert (both on the 6th), Malik Bey (the 8th), Jalil Muntaqim (the 18th), and Eddie Africa (the 31st).

    [Details Here]