11-3-12 This journey has been a long one filled with joy and heartache. We are thrilled to share that Ric was released on October 18th and we flew back home to Seattle on October 20th. Tomorrow we celebrate my birthday with a 25 hour day and our blessed freedom. I will close this petition soon. Anyone who wants to catch up with us can look for me on Facebook, Juli Sipe, the one with the pic of Ric and I. Thank you everyone for your love, support and prayers. Your loving supportive energy helped us more than you can know.
8-28-12 What a difference a week makes. Not good. I flew down to Oklahoma last thursday, shortly after landing Ric called and said "we have a problem". There is a snafu going on with this DA and the Parole Board. This is not about our case but we are caught up in the dragnet this DA has created as Ric has had early parole consideration. This DA is worked up about the constitutional authority of the Parole Board and the Governor of Oklahoma to address early parole and commutations and alleging Open Meetings Act violations. Our case complies. no problem. Although the Parole Board unanimously recommended early release for Ric and the Governor has signed his parole the Parole Board has placed a moratorium on early release considerations and suspended those that the Governor has taken action on pending an opinion being released by the Attorney General. We have no idea how long this will take. So $2,000 later I'm sitting in Oklahoma with Ric's packed bag of new clothes for him to come home in and he is left in limbo.....
Here is a link to The Daily Oklahoman newspaper article.
8-20-12 Today Ric called me and said "come pick me up!" I've scrammbled, got the airfare figured out and will be there to pick him up at the end of the week and bring him home next week to Seattle. We want to keep this petition up for awhile to give folks who search us out the ability to know our future together is finally secure! Hopefully Discovery will soon add the tag line to our reruns that Ric is finally free! Much love to everyone, please continue to sign. Your support has meant the world to us in the most literal sense.
7-12-12 Today we had the Ric's future parole officer in Seattle come over to inspect our home offer! He was pleasant enough explaining the parole process. OMG!!! It's getting more real! We still need the Governor of Oklahoma to sign his parole but my god we have come a long way in 5 1/2 years! From reuniting after 30 years apart with Ric sentenced to die behind bars to a second chance at freedom! Perhaps in a couple months I will be posting "He's HOME"!!!! Thank you to all who have been supportive of us, who watched our tv episode of Prison Wives, who sought me out, who signed our petition and sent us your love, prayers and compassion! 6-24-12 Last week Ric was transferred to a work center. Wow. After all these years he is in a place without bars, fences, razor wire!!! AND he sleeps on a (worn out) mattress, not a 2 inch mat on a metal pan bed. Within two nights the sciatica in his hip has gotten much better! The food is better, more fresh produce than he has had in 10 years. There's a garden on site. The toilet facilities offer the least privacy in the DOC. Seems rather unsanitary to line up 9 toilets about 2' apart for 100 men with no partitions. I have visions of medieval trough toilets with a sponge on a stick.....Yuck! BUT he is one step closer to home!
Now I am waiting for our home inspection to happen that will approve our request for him to be paroled to Washington State. Should happen within the next few weeks then we will be seeking Gov. Fallin's approval. One step at a time.
4-9-12 We have been blessed. An order was signed stating Ric's time in county jail before trial, over a year, will be credited to his paraphrenalia charge with a sentence of one year in county jail!!! WOO_HOO!!! I know, it seems like a no-brainer but in our messed up legal system it took us hiring yet another attorney and a couple months time to straighten this out. Now we can move on. Yesterday Ric signed his parole certificate!!! OMG!!! Next, we are working on the documentation to allow him to serve parole in Washington State. This will take a couple months. Then that information will go to Gov. Fallin along with the parole baords unanimous recommendation for early parole. Then we pray Gov. Fallin signs his parole. Thank you to everyone who has sent us prayers and letters, good thoughts, love and support. If Gov. Fallin signs we may see him home before Thanksgiving. OMG!!!
3-31-12 January 25, 2012, the day after Ric's 53rd birthday, we had a hearing before the pardon and parole board concerning his bogus 10 year weapon charge .Details below. The Board unanimously recommended parole. Over two months later we are still waiting on paperwork. Next step is for Ric to sign his parole certificate. Then his packet will go to the Governor. Gov. Fallin will then have 30 days to sign or regect our request. Given Ric's flawles record behind bars and his employment unsupervised outside the fences in the small City of Boley as a handyman, repair person, we have high hopes Gov. Fallin will sign. She does have a low rate of signing so we hold our breath until we know. Sadly we learned late last year that one of Ric's charges, Paraphernalia, is at the end of his consecutive sentences. This charge carries a sentence of one year in county jail. We thought his time in county jail of well over a year after his arrest satisfied this sentence. As it stands now Ric will have to serve one year behind county bars in addition to his near 10 years locked up, 1 in county jail, 9 in prison, 1 of these working outside the fences unsupervised. Gang pay for his hard work is $11 a month. County jail sucks. We don't know if we will be able to have long distance phone calls. He will be locked up in a cell with others and little time out. They leave the lights on 24-7. They feed them when someone thinks about it, no kitchen at the jail. No underwear, socks, sheets or pillows supplied. Visits are 15 minutes, one visitor, on the weekend. When he was arressted his mother tried to visit him. She drove from Indiana and was turned away. She finally did return twice, 15 minutes each time. She died after he was sent to prison without seeing him again. That crushing blow nearly did him in. Then his brother in law died, his second father. Then his oldest sister, his second mom. The sorrow continues. Ric hates so much that his life is being wasted. He loves to work, to build things, to be productive. I struggle to support him. My retirement, savings, gone. With Ric free we can rebuild our lives. Ever the optomist I do believe we can somehow recover, with his skills and mine. We just need the chance before his health fails from the poor conditions and food from the prison and mine does from the injuries in my life that are now beginning to slow me down.
12-12-11 We need your continued support to be listened to. Thank you for everyone who has seen our plea and responded! Your thoughts and prayers keep us going. Ric has seen many changes to his life following the commutation of the 60 year sentence for drugs. When he moved to the minimum security prison he felt the simple pleasure of grass on his bare feet after 8 years, touched a tree, adjusted his own shower water temp, petted a cat. He worked for the Department of Transportation doing such things as running a chainsaw, gas powered weed eater and mower, picking up trash. Now he is one of two who are unsupervised outside workers. Ric is picked up by a citizen of the town of Boley and he works for the town doing such things as clearing the sides of the roads, cutting down the town Christmas tree, stringing lights all over two story power poles, janitorial etc. He is brought back to prison each day. He is thrilled that last week he was able to FINALLY use the tools of his trade, he rebuilt a park bench!!! He said he remembers how to use a saw, how to read a tape measure. Yes, its sad, but we look at it as a sign of future good things to come. Ric building again!!! 7-4-11 I'm finishing up the packet to submit to the Pardon and Parole Board concerning the weapon charge. We are asking that Ric's 10 year maximum sentence for this charge be commuted to time served or to the minimum sentence of two years which would see him free before Christmas. I can be contacted at 206-359-1575.4-25-11 As the invited guest of Senator Constance Johnson I attended the Legislative Black Caucus Banquet and found myself able to thank Gov. Fallin personally for signing Ric's commutation. Gov. Fallin was attentive and gracious, advised me to keep fighting for his freedom. We will be submitting another request for his freedom in July.1-31-11 Governor Mary Fallin commuted Ric's 60 year sentence for time served, he has been incarcerated since 2002. We still have the 10 year bogus gun charge and $50,000 fine, but Ric is no longer sentenced to die in prison. We were finally listened to!!!! We both want to thank everyone who has worked to help us get this far. We are not done. Keep us in your prayers and we can still use signatures for our next round.12-20-10 update. The commutation recommendation for the 60 year drug charge is at the Governors office. We are attempting to have the Pardon and Parole Board bring him up on an early docket on the gun charge.12-08-10 update. The Pardon and Parole Board unanimously agreed to commute the 60 year sentence for drugs. This now needs to be signed by the Governor. This still leaves a 10 year sentence for a gun. This gun was at another address next door to where Ric was arrested, about 100 feet away. Ric's codefendant was within 10 feet of the gun, charge was dropped from her although ownership of the gun was not established, fingerprint evidence was withheld from the defense and the alleged weapon was found under the bed, a waterbed frame that sits flush to the floor, there was not "under"!!! We are now working on overturning the gun charge and reducing the fine of $50,000, as was done with his codefendant, to $1,000. Your help is needed. Please contact Governor Brad Henry and request he sign Ric's commutation. Please further request that the Governor either eliminate the gun charge or run it concurrent with the drug charge and reduce the fine imposed.
Governor Mary Fallin
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Telephone: (405) 521-2342
Fax: (405) 521-3353
Below is the address to e-mail a message http://www.governor.state.ok.us/message.php I can be contacted at email@example.com. Thank you so much for helping us.
Richard Sipe was sentenced in Dec. 2003 to 60 years for a non violent first time drug offense, an additional 10 for a legal gun at a different address and one year for failure to affix a tax stamp to the drugs, for a total of 71 years in Oklahoma. His time makes him eligeable for parole when he is 104. His co-defendant served 10 months on the same charges without testifying against him!!!! We are asking that Richard Sipe's sentence be commuted to time served, eight years now. In researching other cases with the same charge the time given ranges from a suspended sentence to 3. 5 years, not 71. Richard was a small business owner in the construction field prior to incarceration, employing a crew of up to eight in his framing business. All Richard wants to do now is get back to his family and to work, contributing to society, building homes for people. Investigation Discovery filmed a one hour documentary on the lives of Richard and his fiance from 34 years ago, Juli. The series "Prison Wives" began airing in the UK starting in Jan. 2010 and in the US starting on Valentines Day, Feb. 14, 2010. The International audience continues to expland. We have recieved nothing but support from everyone who has viewed our episode and researched Ric's case.In October we learned that we have a Commutation hearing with the Pardon and Parole Board in early December 2010. We have the support of Oklahoma Senator Constance Johnson amongst many others. Thanks so much for your support!!!!!!
We the undersigned respectfully ask you to carefully look at Richard Sipe #464566 and commute his sentence, his drug conviction resulting from his arrest in November of 2002, for a first time non violent offender from a total of 71 years at 85% to time served, revoke the $50,000 fine and parole him to Washington State where his fiance of 33 years awaits him with other family members and where he has job offers. Richard Sipe has shown himself to be a model inmate. He has taken his recovery from drug addiction seriously and is ready to take his place back into society as a productive member pursuing his craft as a precision house framer. Prior to conviction he was a proud owner of a framing company that built many quality homes around Tulsa. His attempt to fulfill the needs of his clients during a housing boom led to the use of preformance enhancing drugs that ultimately used him, led to his addiction. He has never denied his need for help. Family flew to his aid in 2002, the year of his arrest, but could not find help for him. Incarceration saved him from his addiction. For that he is grateful. As a non violent offender who has always been cooperative we respectfully ask that you commute his sentence and let this man go free.Thank you for your time and attention to this letter and petition.