To learn about Ramsey Muniz and what happened to him in 1994, go to www.freeramsey.com. He is in prison for life. Copy and paste our letters of support for his Petition for Compassionate Release, and send them to the addresses provided. We ask the Pardon Attorney to grant his petition and forward it to President Barack Obama. Write to President Obama and ask that he grant the Petition for Compassionate Release for Ramiro "Ramsey" Muniz!
Monday, December 31, 2012
An Appeal for Clemency on Behalf of Ramiro “Ramsey” Muñiz
The National Committee to Free Ramsey Muñiz
requests President Barack Obama to commute Muñiz’s life sentence and restore
his freedom.Attorneys representing Muñiz are preparing a second
application for a Commutation of Sentence that will be submitted to the Department
of Justice and the Office of the President. In this document, however, we introduce
the President to Muñiz and plead for clemency, mostly on moral and symbolic
Muñiz showed singular discipline and
determination at an early age.Born and
raised in a poor, predominantly Mexican American community of Corpus Christi,
Texas he contributed to his family’s earnings by setting pins at a bowling
alley until 10:00 in the evening and delivering newspapers before the start of
school.Muñiz also excelled in school
and in football.
Football scouts from Baylor University singled
out Muñiz for his extraordinary athletic ability and awarded him a four-year scholarship.He did very well in the classroom and became an
outstanding player in the Southwest Conference.Muñiz recalls that he was motivated by a deep desire to please his
mother and the hope to better provide for his family.
Muñiz earned a Bachelor of Arts and Science
Degree in Political Science and Master’s Degree in History from Baylor
University.His grades and high score on
the Law School Admissions Test made it possible for Muñiz to attend Baylor School of Law,
all the while working as an assistant football coach at the same university.
While attending law school, Muñiz demonstrated a passion for
civil rights and began working on behalf of Mexican American and African
American communities in Central Texas.He is especially proud of his work with the Model Cities Program in
Waco, especially in Head Start, breakfast, and dropout prevention programs for minority
youth in the area. Muñiz was also instrumental in creating a Community Center in
Waco, Texas.A good number of citizens
from Central Texas still remember Ramsey for his generous and dedicated
Once Muñiz received his Juris Doctorate
degree in law, he sought the office of Governor of the State of Texas in order
to speak out for the rights of poor Texans who lacked effective political representation.
His 1972 and 1974 campaigns as a Raza
Unida Party candidate demonstrated his genuine concern for extending justice
and equality to poor Mexican Americans, African Americans, and European
Americans. Drug charges, however, cut short his promising political career.
Muñiz was sentenced to life without parole
in federal court in the Northern District of Texas in 1994 under the newly
enacted “Three Strikes and You Are Out” statute.This occurred after the sentencing Judge in
the 1994 drug conviction held that Muniz’s two prior drug indictments, one in
the San Antonio Division of the Western District of Texas and the other in the
Corpus Christi Division of the Southern District of Texas (for which Muniz had
pled guilty in the 1970’s) constituted two separate prior felony convictions.Ramsey’s attorney in both the San Antonio and
Corpus Christi cases had entered into an agreement with the federal prosecutor
that both sentences were to be combined into one and that a federal
prosecutor’s affidavit would reflect this understanding.
During the 1994 sentencing, defense attorney
Dick DeGuerin introduced the federal prosecutor’s
affidavit into evidence.The sentencing
Judge (the same one who had presided over the trial) disregarded it and ruled
that the Three Strikes Statute still applied.If the Judge had ruled otherwise and Muniz had not been deemed a career
criminal, he would have already served his sentence, especially if authorities
had also credited him for good time.
The Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council recently
issued a report that underscores the excessive nature of the 1994 ruling.The Council notes that aggravated violent
offenders convicted in 1994 served an average of 5.85 years while nonviolent
offenders typically served 3.74 years. This means that the majority of persons
convicted in 1994, including violent offenders, were most probably released by
Legal issues notwithstanding, our major
concern is that Muñiz is approaching 20 years of incarceration, an excessive
amount of time for someone who has never committed a violent act in his life. Also,
Ramsey turned 70 on December 13, 2012 and, according to life expectancy
projections, he has few years to live.A
relevant study on recidivism by the United States Justice Department states
that persons above 55 years of age return to prison at the low rate of 2
The wife, children, mother-in-law, and
siblings of Ramsey Muñiz have undergone their own continuous pain and suffering.
This has been made all the more difficult by enduring the distance that has
long separated them from him.
We must add the incalculable worth of Muñiz’s
political legacy in our appeal.He
modeled a caring progressive leadership with his support for public education,
local community control, bilingual education, public health, and women’s and
workers’ rights.Ramsey also inspired a
generation of young Mexican Americans who entered politics in the 1970s and now
serve as leaders in government, business, and education.Ramsey has great symbolic value for the Mexican
American community; he embodied the historic hope for change and the tragedy of
unfulfilled dreams at a time of striking social needs and collective resolve
for change.History and community, in
other words, add symbolic weight to our appeal.
Everyone who is close to Muñiz knows that he does not represent
a threat to society.His non-violent
past, along with his exemplary conduct before and after his incarceration,
offers ample proof of his peaceful nature.Muñiz expressed his pacific countenance and commitment to live his life
well in a letter to President Barack Obama, “I am not a threat to society. I
have learned the importance of using good judgment in my selection of
acquaintances and friends, and I intend to live the remaining years of my life
with my loving wife and family.”
Muñiz is a loving person in all his
relationships, as a father, a brother, a son-in-law to a mother who regards him
as her son, an uncle, and grandfather. He is also a mentor and friend to many persons.
His wife, family members, and friends have responded with their own steadfast
love.They have supported him throughout
his long incarceration, believing that his suffering will end when President Obama
grants him the freedom that he deserves. Their greatest hope is that his family
will be finally reunited.
Our appeal has attracted the attention and
support of national organizations such as the League of United Latin American
Citizens (National and Texas LULAC), the League of Latin American Citizens, the
American GI Forum, and Friends of Justice. Congressmen, attorneys, and educators from throughout
the country have also joined our cause. Public support continues to grow as we appeal
for the release of Ramsey Muñiz, a man who has done so much to improve and
advance the lives of others.