The petition to keep Vanessa Coleman behind bars now has more than 60 thousand signatures. She's the woman sentenced to 35 years for her part in the Channon Christian and Chris Newsom murders. But will your voice make a difference?
Lauren Davis talked to a woman who mounted a similar initiative to keep her son's killer behind bars.
Three people gunned down Chris McBath on his front porch back in 2009. A jury convicted one of them Monica Wright Jones of facilitation of murder and sentenced her to 15 years. She got out after 5. McBath's mom Terry Smith says, "It upsets me that if you take a life, you do a few years in jail and you're back out on the street again."
McBath's mother tried everything to keep her behind bars even starting a petition like the one now online to prevent parole for Vanessa Coleman. But nothing worked. Jones just like Coleman was up for early release on good behavior. Smith says, "You reward a child for good behavior. You don't reward a murderer for good behavior."
Daniel Frye, who started both petitions, tells me what we really need is truth in sentencing laws. Frye says, "Victims aren't told the amount of time that comes off a sentence and jurys aren't told that either."
Smith isn't sure the Coleman petition will work, but she tells me she hopes it will and bring a different outcome than it did in son's murder.
Vanessa Coleman's parole hearing has been changed from October to December.