New York Governor Commutes John White Prison Sentence

By NAACP Criminal Justice Director Robert Rooks

(Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Last week, after struggling for four years to clear his name, John White was released from prison and reunited with his family — just in time for Christmas.

In 2006, a group of teenagers came to John's Long Island home shouting words of violence, yelling racial slurs, and threatening to kill his son. John did what any father would do &mdashl he defended his home and his family.

In the ensuing struggle, one of the teenagers lunged at John's handgun and was tragically killed. John was sentenced to prison.

NAACP members across New York rallied behind John, supporting his family during the trial and guarding his home. One stalwart NAACP life member, a woman from a working-class background, donated $20,000 of her life savings to help.