23 Reasons Why 23 Years is Enough won an Award of Merit from The Best Shorts Competition!
Pascual Carpenter (along with six others) was convicted under the Felony-Murder Rule for his role as a lookout in the 1990 New York City subway robbery that resulted in the death of Utah tourist Brian Watkins. Before the film was made, he had been in prison for the 23 years. The documentary is about Pascual's case, his transformation, and the much-maligned Felony-Murder Rule. The Felony-Murder Rules transfers culpability to accomplices for any death that occurs during certain felonies, regardless of the person's role in the crime. Pascual, an 18-year-old at the time of the offence, never foresaw, witnessed, aided, or concurred with any fatal aggression on that horrible night. On March 2, 2015, Pascual Carpenter was released on parole. He is back with his family and doing well.
UPDATE 9/16/2020: In July of 2020 by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) arrested him. They are attempting to deport him though he is a U.S. citizen and did nothing wrong.
UPDATE: 2/12/2021: ICE released Pascal Shakoure Charpentier from detention. He is still under threat of deportation. He has a court date in September and despite overwhelming evidence that he is a U.S. citizen may still be sent to a country where he has NEVER lived. For more information go to : https://www.facebook.com/FreePascalShakureCharpentier
Multiple Injuries won an Award of Merit from The Best Shorts Competition!
Mark Gizewski survived Thalidomide, a prescription drug his mother took for morning sickness. It caused thousands of people to be born with severe birth defects from 1957 to 1962. And he survived over 30 surgeries to “correct” those deformities with varying results.
Mark was in the NYS prison system serving a LIFE sentence for a 1995 offense where he pretended to have a gun. He was released after 6 years, but sent back in 2009 for a parole violation. He ended up at Five Points Correctional Facility where he was refused requests for proper accommodations due him under the Americans with Disabilities Act. On January 5th, 2016, Mark says that two Five Points guards threw him from his wheelchair, broke his arm in five places and caused a contusion on his chest in the shape of a boot. (Five Points claims he fell out of his chair. No explanation has been offered for the bruise.)
Mark had very special needs in order to be able to survive. Due to the efforts of the British group, The Thalidomide Trust, and activists in demanding Mark be released, he won his parole hearing and was released on parole March 2, 2015. Unfortunately, Mark passed away in 2018 from a heart attack.
Catskills Black Lives Matter, June 14, 2020
ICE: Free Shakoure Char Demonstration, Nov. 9, 2020
From Right, Deirdre Sinnott, Harold Pinter and Stop the War organizer.
Press Conference in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office demanding that they accept over 1,000 petitions for Pascual Carpenter’s Clemency with Marlene Smith, Pascual’s mother. Dec. 2013
Friends Meeting House, Stop the War Coalition, London
Taking Questions with Marlene Smith, Pascual’s mother. Dec. 2013
Deirdre with Pascual Carpenter at Sing Sing Correctional Facility before she interviewed him for 23 Reasons Why 23 Years is Enough. Aug. 2013
Deirdre with Marlene Smith, Pascual’s mother, at premiere of 23 Reasons Why 23 Years is Enough. Dec. 2013.
Deirdre and her husband, author Charles Petzold, head to the Woman’s March. Jan. 2017
Deirdre presenting the John J. & Wilma B Sinnott Conservation Award to Rev. Dr. Maria A. Scates CEO/Founder of the Johnson Park Center with Utica Zoo Executive Director, Andria Heath. April 2016
Deirdre speaking at the celebration of Utica’s Abolition History Day held at the Hope Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church. Oct. 2015
Deirdre with poet Tina Barry at Women’s March. Jan. 2017
George Galloway, MP and Deirdre Sinnott at the Stop the War March London. Jan. 2004
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Ramsey Clark, Edwin Lewinson, and Deirdre Sinnott at Press Conference in Amman, Jordan. 2001