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President Obama has a meeting scheduled with Pope Francis, March 27, 2014. Please write and send a personal letter to Pope Francis (by March 15), asking him to intercede for mercy and compassion from President Obama on behalf of Ramsey Muniz.

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His Holiness Pope Francis
Bishop of Rome
Vatican City State, Europe

January 20, 2014

Most Holy Father,

I pray this letter finds you well. I am writing on behalf of Ramiro (Ramsey) Muniz and his beloved wife, Irma, two devout Catholics from Corpus Christi, Texas (USA). We ask for your prayers on their behalf, and for you to discuss his pleas for mercy and compassion with President Barack Obama, at your earliest convenience.

We have heard, read and seen many good things about you in mass media, and want you to know there are millions of us Latinos in the U.S. who have been inspired by your good works and admonitions.

I am a USMC veteran who was born and raised a few miles from Corpus Christi, Texas, where there is still much racial discrimination against Latinos. When I returned from Vietnam in 1969, I was intent on becoming a lawyer, to fight against this discrimination, in my country that I fought and almost died for in the war.

I made the decision to become a lawyer, in Vietnam, as I observed how so many of our Vietnamese allies were being mistreated by our own U.S. troops much like Latinos were mistreated, in Texas and other U.S. states. At age 21, over there, I didn't know much about life, but I did know racial discrimination was very wrong in Vietnam, as it was and still is, in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

I graduated from law school in 1980, inspired by Latino lawyers like Ramsey Muniz of Corpus Christi who also practiced law on behalf of our people, even while running for Governor of Texas on the La Raza Unida third-party ticket against the Democratic and Republican Parties. Several young Latinos struggling to survive in our violent and economically depressed barrios and colonias were inspired by Senor Muniz, to excel in high school and college much like African-Americans were inspired by Reverend Martin Luther King, in the Sixties.

Senor Muniz worked very hard throughout his childhood, to help his familia make ends meet, and in high school and college to become a lawyer, in order to help all Latinos rise up out of poverty and despair. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1967, and a Juris Doctorate degree in 1971 from Baylor University, at a time when the vast majority of Latinos did not even finish high school.

In the midst of all our social, educational and political activism in the Seventies, Senor Muniz was accused of being in a "conspiracy to sell marijuana," and his law license was taken away. His law career, and his good name and reputation were destroyed along with the La Raza Unida Party of Texas for daring to take hundreds of thousands of voters and supporters away from the two major political parties during his two races for Governor of Texas.

Struggling to get back on his feet after this devastating blow to his livelihood, Senor Muniz was again accused of being in a "conspiracy," this time to sell cocaine, and he is now serving life in prison without possibility of parole on these two fabricated charges because of his political involvement with the La Raza Unida Party. The federal law used against Senor Muniz required two violent felonies and a third serious drug conviction for life imprisonment, but two nonviolent convictions were enough for this political prisoner, to be forced to die in prison in the racist state of Texas.

A good Catholic and model prisoner, Senor Muniz has now been in federal prison for over 20 years. At age 70, he is in poor health, and we are all hoping and praying President Obama will show him mercy and compassion by releasing Senor Muniz very soon.

Please pray for Senor Muniz, and intercede by encouraging President Obama, to show mercy and compassion for our once-great Latino attorney and leader of our communities. Attached is our letter to President Obama with more information about Senor Muniz. His wife's mailing address and telephone number are:

Irma Muniz
4833 Saratoga Blvd., #336
Corpus Christi, Texas 78413

Tel. (409) 363-1878

In closing, I have the honor to profess myself with the most profound respect, your most obedient and humble servant.

Ruben Botello, Pennsylvania Director of the National League of Latin American Citizens (NLLAC)

ATTACHMENT (1)

***

October 30, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

RE: Federal Prisoner Ramiro R. Muniz (40288-115)

Dear President Obama:

As a disabled USMC Vietnam veteran, I salute you for your outstanding service to our great country, and as a senior citizen, I know you are doing your very best, to make life better for mine and all other generations.

I was born and raised in South Texas, 22 miles from where attorney Ramsey Muniz is from. I am writing you, in hope and prayer you will show Mr. Muniz and his family mercy by commuting his life sentence without possibility of parole, as soon as possible.

Thousands of Americans have supported Mr. Muniz's release since he was sentenced, in 1994. The once-prominent attorney, civil rights advocate and Texas gubernatorial candidate was first convicted, in 1976, for participating in or at least knowing about a conspiracy to sell marijuana. The counsellor was again convicted, in 1994, for participating in or at least knowing about a conspiracy to sell cocaine.

There was no violence involved in either case, and Mr. Muniz was never accused of selling any drugs nor of carrying or using any weapons. Nevertheless, federal prosecutors counted his 1976 conviction, as "two strikes," so he could be imprisoned for the rest of his life after his 1994 conviction ("strike three"). His co-defendant, Juan Gonzales, had prior convictions, but he was only sentenced to 14 years and is now free.

After almost 20 years of imprisonment, Mr. Muniz will turn 70 behind bars this December, and he is disabled. A 14-year sentence for the non-violent offense he and his co-defendant were convicted of does not seem cruel or unusual, but life imprisonment with no possibility of release does, and Mr. Muniz did not have three convictions, to justify this extreme sentence, in the first place.

Like yourself, Mr. President, Ramsey Muniz was an excellent citizen, leader and role model for young Americans to emulate when he ran for Governor of Texas, as an attorney and community activist in the Seventies. This Christian gentleman gave many of our kids hope, to the extent they were inspired, to work harder, stay in school, go to college, and otherwise contribute more productively to society, as adults.

In high school, Mr. Muniz earned a football scholarship to Baylor University. The Corpus Christi athlete went on to become a Baylor football coach, as he worked his way through law school.

Mr. Muniz was never considered a "career criminal" nor a threat to anyone, in or out of prison. In fact, Mr. Muniz is considered a model prisoner who feels it his duty, to help prison authorities deal with restless inmate problems.

There are so many more good things to say about Mr. Muniz, Mr. President. Suffice it to say, thousands of Americans who have been following his plight across the nation would be totally elated, if you commuted Mr. Muniz's sentence, so he can return, to Corpus Christi, and live out his life with his loving family. Because of their faith in God, his family and their communities have been hoping, praying and working daily for Mr. Muniz's release ever since he was so abruptly taken from them, in 1994. Please honor that faith by commuting his unjust sentence, and we will all forever be indebted to you.

Sincerely,

Ruben Barrera Botello, JD
Director, National Legal Defense Team for Ramsey Muniz
Pennsylvania Director, National League of Latin American Citizens

cc: Ronald Rodgers, U.S. Pardon Attorney

***
Contact President Obama
On Behalf of Ramsey Muniz, Today!

Please write a personal letter to President Obama, in support of Freedom for Ramsey Muniz (you are encouraged to include facts from letters below.)

Mail your letter to:

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

You can also email your letter to the President, now (or fax it to the President, at: 202-456-2461).

Important Message To Organizations: Contact President Obama
On Behalf of Ramsey Muniz Here!

***

Letters from Ruben Botello to President Barack Obama
On Behalf of Ramsey Muniz

November 10, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

SUBJECT: Compassionate Release Application of Ramiro R. Muniz, Federal Prisoner #40288-115

Dear President Obama:

We applaud you and Attorney General Eric Holder for promising, to release more elderly federal prisoners with serious debilitating medical problems who are no threat to public safety.

Please release Ramiro R. Muniz under this new 'compassionate release program' based on the fact he will be age 71 in December, and is in poor medical condition, while struggling to survive among violent young prisoners and prison gangs. Mr. Muniz has never been accused or convicted of any violent crime, and is not a threat to the public or anyone. He is a religious man who daily prayer is to return to his Corpus Christi home, to live out the rest of his life with his beloved wife.

As U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (Texas-35th District) declares:

"Mr. Muniz suffers from chronic degenerative joint disease which has severely impacted his ability to walk and function at a correctional facility. He uses a wheelchair the majority of the time. Medical documentation reflects that Muniz also suffers from chronic edema and microcytic/hypochromic anemia." (see attached)

Please release Mr. Muniz, as soon as possible, Mr. President.

Sincerely,

Ruben Botello, Director
National Legal Defense Team for Ramsey Muniz

cc: U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Pardon Attorney Ronald Rodgers Dick DeGuerin, Attorney for Ramiro R. Muniz

ATT (1)

==============================

Lloyd Doggett
United States Congressman
300 East 8th Street #763
Austin, TX 78701-3276

October 22, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Re: Application for Compassionate Release for Ramiro R. Muniz, 40288-115

Dear President Obama:

I am writing to express my support for Ramiro R. Muniz, who is in the process of submitting an application through the Compassionate Release Program. The compassionate release that he seeks is based on his age and current physical condition. On December 13, 2013, he will turn 71.

Mr. Muniz suffers from chronic degenerative joint disease which has severely impacted his ability to walk and function at a correctional facility. He uses a wheelchair the majority of the time. Medical documentation reflects that Muniz also suffers from chronic edema and microcytic/hypochromic anemia.

Family members and supporters of Ramiro R. Muniz have contacted me because they seek your compassionate consideration of his application. I support their efforts for the compassionate release of Ramiro R. Muniz.

Very truly yours,

Lloyd Doggett
Congressman

***

August 20, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

SUBJECT: Commutation of Sentence for Ramiro R. Muniz, Federal Prisoner #40288-115

Dear President Obama:

We pray our correspondence finds you and your loved ones well.

On October 30, 2012, we sent you a letter on behalf of federal prisoner Ramiro R. Muniz, #40288-115, pleading for you to commute the life sentence without parole Mr. Muniz received, December 16, 1994, from the late Honorable Judge Paul Brown. (See Attachment A)

As mentioned in our Oct. 30, 2012 letter, Mr. Muniz's co-defendant was only sentenced to 14 years for the same crime, and was freed years ago. There were no victims, weapons, violence or threats of violence of any kind involved in the 1994 conspiracy they were convicted of, and they never sold or distributed any drugs. (ATT. A, supra)

What led to Mr. Muniz's 1994 life sentence without parole (instead of 14 years imprisonment like his co-defendant) was that he had a prior 1977 conviction on a 'conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute' marijuana charge that was erroneously counted by Judge Brown, as two prior convictions, in order to apply the federal 1994 “three strikes” law (infra) during Mr. Muniz's sentencing, Dec. 16, 1994. (ATT. A, supra)

There were no weapons, victims, drug sales, violence or threats of violence involved in the 1977 case, either, but since more than one federal district court in Texas adjudicated the 1976-77 conspiracy matter (Case #SA-76-CR-176, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division; AND Case #76-C-245, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division; AND Case #76-C-345; ATTS. B, C, D, infra), it was counted, as two convictions instead of one by the Judge Brown in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, during Mr. Muniz's 1994 sentencing proceedings before the judge, while those proceedings should have been conducted before a jury under the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution according to the U.S. Supreme Court. (See Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 AND Alleyne v. U.S., Docket No. 11-9335)

Please review Attachment B (Case #SA-76-CR-176) and Attachment C (Case #76-C-245) consolidated into Case #76-C-345 (Attachment D) wherein it is clear the San Antonio and Corpus Christi District Courts litigated the same singular set of facts and circumstances (in re the 1976 marijuana conspiracy charges) Judge Brown mistakenly summed up, as two prior "serious convictions," to justify the 1994 life sentence without parole Mr. Muniz, and his beloved wife and family, are now suffering immensely from for no good or just cause whatsoever.

Counting the 1976 marijuana conspiracy charges, as two serious violent convictions like Judge Brown did, to justify the life sentence without parole against Mr. Muniz in 1994 for a nonviolent conviction, also amounts to double jeopardy, in violation of Mr. Muniz's Fifth Amendment Constitutional right to be protected from imposition of more than one punishment for the same offense by any state or federal court. Mr. Muniz's co-defendant received one punishment (14 years) for the same offenses, while Mr. Muniz received a second punishment for the same offenses - life imprisonment without possibility of parole - and his legal rights were terminated.

Judge Brown's arbitrary and capricious 1994 sentence was not based on any existing law, the jury should have decided if the existing "three strikes" law applied (under the Sixth Amendment, supra), and it was also in violation of Mr. Muniz's Eighth Amendment Constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment.

In Att. D (re Case 76-C-345), the Corpus Christi court claims Mr. Muniz entered into a bonafide Plea Agreement with the U.S. Government (see March 7, 1977, notation in Att. D). The Plea Agreement (Attachment E) shows the U.S. Government, represented by U.S. Attorney Robert A. Berg of Corpus Christi, Texas, agreed to consolidate all the 1976-77 marijuana conspiracy charges into one new singular case (Case #76-C-345), in order to proceed against Mr. Muniz for his one prior nonviolent conviction and sentencing, in 1977.

Whether or not Judge Brown honored this bonafide 1977 Plea Agreement between the U.S. Government and Mr. Muniz, during his Dec. 16, 1994, sentencing proceedings, Mr. Muniz should not have been sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole based on his two nonviolent convictions. In sentencing Mr. Muniz, Judge Brown claimed, "And the Court, under the law, then, must impose a mandatory life sentence." (see Att. A, pg. 2, supra)

"The law" Judge Brown erroneously referred to during his December 16, 1994 sentencing of Mr. Muniz was the "Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994" (18 U.S.C. §3559(c)). Mr. President, according to Jo Ann Harris, Assistant U.S. Attorney General, the 1994 “Three Strikes” law applied, as follows:

The "Three Strikes" statute is sufficiently important to our violence enforcement efforts that I want to underscore its key provisions. Under the federal "Three Strikes" provision, which is now codified at 18 U.S.C. 3559(c), the defendant receives mandatory life imprisonment if he or she:

is convicted in federal court of a "serious violent felony" and has two or more prior convictions in federal or state courts, at least one of which is a "serious violent felony." The other prior offense may be a "serious drug offense."

The above text was taken from a March 13, 1995, memorandum to all United States Attorneys from Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris (Criminal Division) on the subject of the "Three Strikes" law. (18 U.S.C. 3559(c))

Mr. Muniz was never charged or convicted of any serious violent felony nor were there ever any weapons charges filed against him because Mr. Muniz was not, and is not a violent offender. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was clearly aimed at serious violent repeat offenders, not nonviolent occasional defendants like Mr. Muniz who only had two nonviolent convictions when he stood before the Court, Dec. 16, 1994. Nevertheless, Judge Brown sentenced Mr. Muniz to life imprisonment without parole, in 1994, not under the law as he claimed (supra), but arbitrarily and capriciously.

It is clear from all the aforementioned attachments except for Judge Brown's sentencing transcript (ATT. A) that Mr. Muniz did not meet the criteria for a federal "three-strikes" life sentence without parole under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 or any other federal law.

Mr. Muniz has already served more than enough time (25 years) for the two nonviolent drug conspiracies he was convicted of, and he should never have been punished twice for the 1977 marijuana conspiracy charges, in order for the prosecution and court, to throw a "third strike" against him out of mainstream society for the rest of his life without any legal right to contest this great injustice.

At age 70 and medically disabled, Mr. Muniz is still a model prisoner and threat to no one, in or out of prison. The native Texan just wants to go back home to Corpus Christi, to live out the rest of his life with his wife and their families instead of waiting to die in deteriorating health behind bars.

Mr. Muniz's release would be nothing short of a just, compassionate and merciful action on your part, Mr. President. We once again implore you, to commute Ramiro R. Muniz's life sentence without possibility of parole, immediately. His relatives and thousands of friends and supporters across the country will be greatly indebted to you, if you end this horrendous miscarriage of justice once and for all.

Sincerely,

Ruben Botello, Director
National Legal Defense Team for Ramsey Muniz

cc:
Honorable Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General
Honorable Ronald Rodgers, U.S. Pardon Attorney
Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Jaime Martinez, President of the National League of Latin American Citizens (NLLAC)
Margaret Moran, President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Janet Murguia, President of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
Thomas A. Saenz, President of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
Anthony Romero, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

***

October 30, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

RE: Federal Prisoner Ramiro R. Muniz (40288-115)

Dear President Obama:

As a disabled USMC Vietnam veteran, I salute you for your outstanding service to our great country, and as a senior citizen, I know you are doing your very best, to make life better for mine and all other generations.

I was born and raised in South Texas, 22 miles from where attorney Ramsey Muniz (#40288-115) is from. I am writing you, in hope and prayer you will show Mr. Muniz and his family mercy by commuting his life sentence without possibility of parole, as soon as possible.

Thousands of Americans have supported Mr. Muniz's release since he was sentenced, in 1994. The once-prominent attorney, civil rights advocate and Texas gubernatorial candidate was first convicted, in 1976, for participating in or at least knowing about a conspiracy to sell marijuana. The counsellor was again convicted, in 1994, for participating in or at least knowing about a conspiracy to sell cocaine.

There was no violence involved in either case, and Mr. Muniz was never accused of selling any drugs nor of carrying or using any weapons. Nevertheless, federal prosecutors counted his 1976 conviction, as "two strikes," so he could be imprisoned for the rest of his life after his 1994 conviction ("strike three"). His 1994 co-defendant, Juan Gonzales, had prior convictions, but he was only sentenced to 14 years and is now free.

After almost 20 years of imprisonment, the disabled inmate will turn 70 behind bars this December. A 14-year sentence for the non-violent offense Mr. Muniz and his 1994 co-defendant were convicted of does not seem cruel or unusual, but life imprisonment with no possibility of release does, and Mr. Muniz did not have three convictions, to justify this severe sentence, in the first place.

And as in your legal and political career, Mr. President, Ramsey Muniz was an excellent citizen, leader and role model for young Americans to emulate when he ran for Governor of Texas, as an attorney and community activist in the Seventies. This Christian gentleman gave many of our kids new hope, to the extent they were inspired, to work hard, stay in school, go to college and otherwise contribute to society, as adults.

In high school, Mr. Muniz earned a football scholarship, to Baylor University, and the aspiring Corpus Christi athlete went on, to become a Baylor football coach, as he worked his way through law school. Mr. Muniz was never considered a "career criminal," nor a threat to anyone, in or out of prison. In fact, Mr. Muniz is considered a model prisoner who even feels it his duty, to help prison authorities deal with restless inmate problems.

There are so many more good things to say about Ramsey Muniz, Mr. President. Suffice it to say, thousands of Americans across the nation who have been following his plight would be totally elated, if you commuted Mr. Muniz's sentence, so he can return, to Corpus Christi and live out his life with his loving family.

Because of their faith in God, his family and their local supporters have been hoping, praying and working daily for Mr. Muniz's release ever since he was so abruptly taken from them, in 1994. We will all forever be indebted to you, if you honor this great faith by commuting Mr. Muniz's severe sentence, as soon as possible, Mr. President.

Sincerely,

Ruben Barrera Botello, JD
Director, National Legal Defense Team for Ramsey Muniz
Pennsylvania Director, National League of Latin American Citizens

cc: Ronald Rodgers, U.S. Pardon Attorney
Office of the Pardon Attorney
1425 New York Avenue, N.W.
Suite 11000
Washington, D.C. 20530

***

Letter from Ramsey Muniz to President Barack Obama

October 20, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

Although I have been judicially confined in the prisons of the United States of America for nearly 20 years of my life, I continue to believe that history will one day affirm your re-election as President of the United States of America.

It is a well-known historical fact that as a graduate from Baylor School of Law and a practicing attorney for many years, I was and continue to be an advocate of human rights. This issue is one which has been a mainstay of your presidency.

Statistically, it is now a known political fact that Mexican Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and Chicanos will be the ultimate deciding political factor of this presidential election and all future national and state elections in the United States of America. This population change has created a new direction for humanity never before seen.

Because of my present incarceration for nearly 20 years I am ineligible to vote. However, I am advocating that all Hispanic and Latino national organizations and individuals support you and vote for your re-election.

This will be an election like no other. Together with Mexican Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and all Americans, we shall recreate national political history today and in the future.

I wish you great success and may God bless you and your loving family.

Very truly yours,

Ramiro R. Muniz

***

Letter from the National Committee to
Free Ramsey Muniz to President Barack Obama

National Committee to Free Ramsey Muniz
PMB 216 5403 Everhart Road
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

October 20, 2012

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We have struggled for many years to free Ramiro "Ramsey" Muniz from imprisonment for a 1994 conviction and excessive sentence of life without parole for a non-violent drug offense. Ramsey and his family and friends have endured pain and suffering as a result of nearly 20 years of suffering. He is now turning 70 years of age and we refuse to let him die in prison.

Wrong perceptions, judgment, mistakes, withholding evidence, and Ramsey's political background contributed to his convictions. He was a community activist during the Civil Rights and Chicano Movements. Ramsey raised the political consciousness in Texas and the Southwest. He enabled many to gain a political voice and seek public office at local, state, and national levels. He incurred legal problems as a result of this activism.

We have fought this case for many years, and all appeals have been exhausted as the law did not work in our favor. We now seek your assistance and we ask that you grant Ramsey Muniz a Commutation of Sentence on humanitarian grounds.

We believe in your leadership and we ask that you help free an innocent man so that he can be reunited with his family once again. To learn more about Ramsey Muniz, go to www.freeramsey.com.

Very truly yours,

National Committee to Free Ramsey Muniz

***

 

How Ramsey Muniz Was Railroaded Into Prison

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