Call to Action: Clemency for Bernard Noble

According to a recent study from the Brennan Center for Justice, Louisiana incarcerates a record number of citizens – 1 in 75 adults is imprisoned. This remarkable statistic is attributable not only to mass arrests, but to long, draconian prison sentences for even minor offenses that some would call cruel and unusual punishment.

One striking example is the case of Bernard Noble, who is to serve more than 13 years in prison for possession of a very small quantity of marijuana. A petition calling for clemency is now circulating online: here. A rally in support of this call to action is scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2015, at 2:00pm at Napoleon and Claiborne Avenues in New Orleans. Learn more at www.BeNobleFreeNoble.com.

Patrice Amandla Sulton

Dear Friends,

We write with an urgent request for your help in our efforts to return a good man and father to his family. Bernard Noble, a native of New Orleans and father of seven children (including one with autism and another with rheumatoid arthritis), is currently serving a 13 year sentence in the Jackson Parish Correctional Center in Jonesboro, Louisiana.

His offense? Possession of roughly enough marijuana to roll two joints. Less than is seen in an average five minutes on any JazzFest Saturday and less than is now legal in a growing number of states. And for this, Bernard Noble has been separated from a family he has worked actively to support, overpaying his child support, and being the kind of father we all hope a man will be.

Attempting to reduce Noble’s mandatorily imposed sentence, the trial judge stated “Mr. Noble’s inevitable incarceration will be a greater punishment for his children than for himself.” And yet, after the trial judge’s reduced sentence was appealed, Mr. Noble was slapped once again with the mandatory 13 years.

On behalf of Bernard Noble and his children, we are launching a campaign to bring attention to Noble’s petition for clemency. Governor Bobby Jindal has the power to return Mr. Noble to his children. Governor Jindal has the power to allow Mr. Noble to once again work and provide for his children. Governor Jindal has the power to let Mr. Noble be a father again, instead of another statistic in Louisiana’s title as the prison capital of the world.

Please join us on Saturday, March 7 at 2 p.m. as we gather in the Broadmoor neighborhood where Mr. Noble was arrested to launch our campaign urging the Governor to Be Noble, Free Noble. We will be gathering on the neutral grounds on the Broadmoor side of Napoleon and Claiborne. Any and all are invited to attend.

Help us spread the word online through our website www.benoblefreenoble.com, Facebook page and Twitter@LAReform #benoblefreenoble #blacklivesmatter and sign the petition!
Finally, feel free to print out the attached flyer and share with your friends, family and workmates.

Regards, Team Free Noble