Help free Nkechi!

Help free Nkechi and support young people sentenced to die in prison

“Due to the many barriers and barricades of prison, I’m limited and, in many ways, completely unable to pass on experiences that I’ve learned throughout life. If it takes a village to raise a child then I am absent of that village, otherwise neglecting my responsibilities and letting down those little ones that need my knowledge.” -- Nkechi

Clinton “Nkechi” Walker was sentenced to die in prison when he was only 17. Despite being forced to grow up behind the walls, Nkechi is an amazing poet, activist, mentor, and a dear friend to many of us. Thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that established that mandatory Life Without Parole (also known as Death By Incarceration) is unconstitutional, Nkechi and 500+ other juvenile lifers in Pennsylvania (the majority of them from Philadelphia) are now having a chance to be resentenced.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office offered Nkechi a deal of 25 to life, which he accepted. But the judge presiding over that phase of his resentencing arbitrarily and unfairly rejected the deal, forcing him to go to a contested resentencing, which will take place on September 6th. The judge in that resentencing hearing has an incredible amount of power. She will decide if and when Nkechi will ever have the opportunity to walk out of prison and rejoin a community of family and friends who dearly want him home.

There are very few resources available for the 300+ Philadelphians who were sentenced to die in prison as children and are now being resentenced. In order to give Nkechi the best chance possible of a positive outcome, we need to raise money for expert witnesses and other legal expenses. Can you make a donation -- large or small -- to help bring him home? You’ll not only be supporting Nkechi, but also making it clear that there is widespread public support for second chances and an end to Death By Incarceration sentencing.

More about Nkechi

Clinton “Nkechi” Walker is a an avid reader, a writer, and a poet. His poetry has been published in Apiary Magazine . He is a member of the Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration and the LifeLines Project, where you can read some of his interviews and writing . He’s also a self-proclaimed singer, though as he puts it, “many who have heard his vocals would strongly disagree.” Though he’s had few opportunities for academic achievement, he takes pride in the fact that he’s been able to develop a strong mentality and personal character despite the horrors, hardships, and assaults of the prison system. Originally from Philadelphia, he’s been serving a Juvenile Life Without Parole sentence for the last 19 years.

Nkechi cares deeply about addressing injustice and making sure other young people don’t get funneled into the prison system. He writes:

“Schools have now adopted the ‘tough on crime’ mentality which, when dealing with children, becomes ‘tough on potential’. … When society and its electors allow the educational system to fail in value and care, it does so with deteriorating growth and possibilities for its children. It’s the epitome of being tough on potential when society allows its children to be subject to the harshest penalties of the judicial system such as a life sentence in prison. It’s tough on potential when an ex-offender returns to society only to be confronted with the depressing and discouraging reality that many opportunities to become a productive citizen are limited or stripped from them, opportunities such as adequate employment, state and federal benefits, and the right to vote. It’s tough on potential when society and its elected officials refuse to recognize and exercise the ability to forgive and allow a second chance to those who have been incarcerated for decades and have achieved the highest degree of rehabilitation.”

Nkechi is a dear friend and comrade. Our communities will be safer and stronger if he and the many other people in Pennsylvania serving Death By Incarceration have a chance to come home. Please contribute what you can to make sure he has that chance.

As Nkechi observes: “We are a community that will return to community and it must be the goal of community to sustain our strong men and women that fight to rise from the polluted ashes.”

Here’s to resistance, transformation, and collectively rising above our circumstances.

Thank you!


LifeLines Project
Philadelphia, PA

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