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Legislators Support Clemency, Release of Big Island Woman

July 16, 2018, 9:05 PM HST
* Updated July 17, 11:22 AM
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The letter to President Trump was dated June 30, 2018.

A dozen Hawai‘i Reps from Hawai‘i have signed on to a letter addressed to President Trump seeking clemency and immediate release for Sherryanne Christie from a Federal Detention Center on O‘ahu.

Christie is the wife of long time Big Island marijuana advocate Roger Christie, who has served his time in prison for marijuana related charges.

The June 30, 2018, letter states:

Dear President Trump,

As members of the Hawai‘i State Legislature, we are writing in support of the application for clemency and immediate release of Sherryanne Christie (inmate number 99280-022), who has been held at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu since May 2017.

In addition to compassionate grounds of her failing health, there have been disturbing circumstances and actions taken against Mrs. Christie that compel us to act, including:

There was no criminal intent to Mrs. Christie’s crimes, nor were there any victims; she was ruled by Judge Leslie Kobayashi to be a “sincere” and “religious/legitimate” Cannabis Minister, yet her religious defense was denied.

Mrs. Christie was specifically sentenced to a low security camp where she was incarcerated for six months, but was transferred to a high security detention center where she has been for over one year now. No explanation has to date been provided as to why she was sentenced to the maximum term under the sentencing guidelines while probation would have sufficed. In addition, visiting privileges, even by her husband Roger Christie, have been suspended without justifiable reason or adequate explanation.

Finally, Mrs. Christie has been denied timely and adequate medical care for a minor injury that has now resulted in serious damage, pain, and discomfort; she has also been denied simple comforts such as an extra blanket and pillow, and has been confined to a very cold air-conditioned cell without access to sunshine and fresh air. This combined with noise and jet exhaust fumes from the nearby airport, has been a contributing factor her health issue.

We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter,

Sincerely, Hawai‘i Sens. Russel E. Ruderman, Josh Green, Gilbert S.C. Keith-Aragan, Stanley Chang, Les Ihara Jr., Donna Mercado Kim, Clarence Nishihara, Mike Gabbard, Maile S.L. Shimabukuro, Gil Riviere and Hawai‘i House Rep. Nicole Lowen and Speaker Emeritus for the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives Calvin Say

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