Many people only know the tabloid and television versions of Joe Hunt's involvement with the "Billionaire Boys Club," which led to his conviction in the alleged "murder" of Ron Levin -- which may not have been a murder at all. No body was found in the case, and at the time of his disappearance, Levin, a notorious con man, was also a wanted man, out on bail and facing federal criminal charges.

While others involved with the case received short-to-nonexistent prison sentences, Joe was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after his incompetent attorney bungled his defense by failing to call key witnesses, violating Joe’s Sixth Amendment rights. When those same witnesses were called in a connected case, Joe prevailed.

Though many have heard of the “Billionaire Boys Club,” few people know that throughout his incarceration, Joe Hunt has been a model inmate who has raised thousands for his church, ministered and offered legal assistance to fellow inmates, and more than met the standards set forth in California Penal Code section 4852.05, which states, "During the period of rehabilitation the person shall live an honest and upright life, shall conduct himself or herself with sobriety and industry, shall exhibit a good moral character, and shall conform to and obey the laws of the land."

  • Joe, center, with brother-in-law Michael, sister Katherine, and Ministers Maria and Ananta McSweeney

  • Joe with Ananda Church leaders Devi and Jyotish Novak

  • Joe and his wife, Jamie

  • Joe with his sister Katherine and their mother, Kathy

  • Joe and his sister Katherine

  • Joe with Ananda Minister Shanti Rubenstone and his sister, Katherine

  • Joe and his wife, Jamie

Joe is a highly spiritual person who does amazing work within his prison. For example, he helped many fellow prisoners to receive a fair legal shake, helped them to get needed medical attention, and partnered with his sister and her husband to raise $1 million for his church (to learn more about Ananda Church, click here).

As part of Joe's spiritual journey, he was given the name "Jairam," which means "Victory to God," and that name appears within many of the letters included in his commutation application.

He has also been an inspiration to thousands of members of his church worldwide, with his story of nonviolence, his uplifted and positive attitude in the face of injustice, and his calm intelligence and energy used for good purposes.

Joe has petitioned the governor for commutation of his sentence, asking only that it be changed to life WITH the possibility of parole. Joe is simply seeking the opportunity many in his same position have been granted: a chance to go before a parole board and plead his case.

If you believe in hope, justice, and rehabilitation, join our cause, and give hope not only to Joe Hunt, but to prisoners everywhere sentenced to life without parole -- "the other death penalty."

Sign the petition