For over a year, NeuroClastic has been fighting for the innocence of Champ Turner to be recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia in the form of a partial pardon.
This morning, Champ Turner received the news that a pardon has been granted. He is on his way home!
Champ Turner was sentenced to twenty years in prison with ten suspended after he defended himself against a knife attack, ran from the attacker, and called 911. When police arrived, they arrested Champ and his attacker was taken to the hospital.
Today, he was pardoned.
This announcement is short because we’re going to celebrate!!!
First and foremost, thank you to Champ Turner for your unyielding kindness, selflessness, and drive for truth in the face of extreme injustice.
A huge thank you from us to everyone out there who signed the petition, made calls, shared the posts on social media, and donated to his legal fees. Your big hearts, anti-racism, and faith in our work and Champ’s innocence made this happen.
Our deepest thanks to Stanley Major and Hope Luck, Champ’s cousins who fought for him and worked with us tirelessly for the last year and several months to get justice for Champ.
Deepest and most profound thanks to Karen Morrison and the nonprofit she founded, Fighting 4 Freedom. Both NeuroClastic and Fighting 4 Freedom were newly-formed nonprofits in 2020, with tiny budgets and Titanic love for justice.
Karen Morrison worked with us and the money that you donated, and we worked with Karen to write the pardon ourselves in collaboration with Champ’s family.
Deepest thanks to NeuroClastic’s leadership team and contributors for your tireless advocacy for Champ. A special thanks to Sarah Selvaggi-Hernandez, Kate Jones, Sumayya Hassan, Cheyenne Thornton, Andi Barclay, Wolfheart Sanchez, David Gray-Hammond, and Adam Lodestone for the tireless work you put in to support Champ’s pardon and advocate for his freedom.
Thanks to Black Lives Matter 757 for bringing this case to our attention, hosting the petition, working with us anytime we needed help, and risking your safety and freedom to advocate for Champ. You were arrested and aggressively antagonized for your peaceful protests, but you persevered in advocating for Champ.
Thank you to the outbound governor, Ralph Northam, the Virginia Parole Board, and those in the Virginia Commonwealth for deciding on the side of justice.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and we thank the many orgs, allies, and especially the Autistic community for your unshakable passion and the work you did to make this happen.
We fought for Osime Brown, Matthew Rushin, and Champ Turner. These three wrongfully convicted neurodivergent young men are all free, but the fight continues to clear their names. This is a testament both to the power of community and grass roots organizing, but also to the difficulty that disabled people, especially Black people with disabilities, are disproportionately targeted, harshly sentenced, and unjustly convicted.
Please keep fighting for justice. Today we celebrate, but the work continues.
As this was a total surprise as of this morning, we are all scrambling to prepare to help Champ jump right back into his life as a proud and loving father. This disruption from his life has caused him to have to start from scratch.
If you would like to support Champ with a financial gift to help him settle and get reestablished, you can send money via PayPal or $Cashapp to his cousin, Stanley Major (information below).
We will update you soon on how Champ is doing once he’s had time to settle and be with his family.
Now, we are off to celebrate!
- Difficult Community Dialogues: On ABA, Evolution, Weaver Communication, and Intersectionality - January 18, 2022
- ANNOUNCEMENT: Champ Turner Has Been Pardoned - January 13, 2022
- The Identity Theory of Autism: Values are not opinions to Autistics. We are our values. - December 13, 2021