Petitions Signed

To bring attention to Joe's fight, and the fight of all LWOP prisoners.

Too many people who are worthy of a second chance, who might be contributing to their communities and the world, are living behind bars under sentences of life without possibility of parole, also known as "the other death penalty." We believe every person has within them the possibility of redemption.

Slideshow images Copyright 2013 ACLU. Originally posted by the ACLU

To be granted a Commutation of Sentence.

Joe has petitioned California's governor for the commutation of his sentence, so he can plead his case before a parole board. View the full commutation petition HERE.

To Tell the truth.

Our number one goal is for the public to know the truth about who Joe is, and about the serious flaws in the court case that put him behind bars for life.

Read more about the serious flaws in the case against Joe HERE.

To help people learn about Joe.

During his incarceration, Joe has helped and inspired many people, both inside and outside of prison. Read excerpts of letters included with Joe's commutation petition below.

Here's what supporters say about Joe:

My name is Shanti Rubenstone. I am a Stanford trained physician and minister. I have met with (Joe) personally and counseled him many times in these past several years. He has shown a level of transformation, humility, sincerity and human goodness that is far above most people I know, even outside of prison. Will you please consider looking into his case?
- Shanti Rubenstone
Read Full Letter

Dear Governor Brown,
I am Joe’s sister. I have supported him the whole time he has been in prison. I know his character better than anyone and I can tell you he is not a problem in the least to society. He has been on his spiritual path since his early days of incarceration. He has practiced non-violence on some of the toughest yards in the state. He has a home, a job, and a community to come to when he is released. My husband and I will support him with whatever he needs. Joe and I had a terrible father who was not a good role model. Joe had some wrong ideas and his behavior was not spiritually correct. Yet he is not guilty of the crime he is serving time for. He has been meditating and giving his life to God since that time. It is easy to be a good person when you have it easy, but to help and do good at every turn in the places he has been and with what he has had to endure is the true testament to his character.
- Katherine Olivier
Read Full Letter

Dear Governor Brown,
I am writing to ask for you to commute the sentence of Joe Hunt. I am his brother-in-law, and have known him for 23 years. Before retiring two years ago at age 50, I was a director of engineering at LinkedIn. Prior to that I held engineering executive positions at a variety of enterprises and startups in Silicon Valley for 25 years. Joe does amazing work from within his confines. For example, he has helped many other prisoners to receive a fair legal shake, helped them to get needed health attention, and partnered with my wife and myself to raise $1 million for Ananda Church. He is a poster child for special relief given the circumstances of his incarceration. His original trial was highly corrupted by a private deal between his defense attorney and the judge. These are just two of many extremely unfair aspects of his case. Your commuting of so many sentences recently is a courageous, beautiful move. I pray that you will consider this and other letters about him and allow Joe to be paroled.
- Michael Olivier
Read Full Letter

While he’s been incarcerated, Joe has used his free time to acquire legal training, and has been able to write legal appeals that have resulted in the release of over a dozen inmates. He also practices meditation daily, which has given him the ability to be a force for peace and a model prisoner despite the tension of the prison environment. His release would represent no threat to society; on the contrary, he would be a contributive force to help others.

Joe remains one of the most impressive people we have met, and deserves a life of freedom at this time. Though only some of Ananda’s ministers have been able to visit him, the strength of his spirit under adversity has inspired our members to embrace Joe as part of Ananda.

- John & Phyllis Novak
Read Full Letter

1. Levin’s alleged death is in question. No body, no evidence.
2. A master con man who uses a 23-year-old as his front man, then disappears, then witnesses come forward that they have seen him alive.
3. A bunch of rich guys who can afford expensive lawyers point their fingers at the only poor guy among them.
4. A judge who wants a conviction even without evidence to support it.
5. No chance of parole, which is an excessive punishment that doesn't fit the alleged murder that may or may not even have happened.

Even if Hunt had killed Levin, this case just doesn't pass the smell test.

- Tali G., PhD on Facebook


I have known Joseph Hunt for 28 years and have visited him in prison frequently over this span of time as a friend and minister. While in prison he has shown himself to be exceptional, using his imprisonment to better himself, develop new skills, work hard with a positive attitude, and demonstrate kindness and compassion to others. I feel that if he is given his freedom he will continue to exhibit behavior which is harmonious, creative, cooperative, reliant, and sustainable.
Read Full Letter

Dear Honorable Governor Brown,
I am writing to you about Joe Hunt and the very unfortunate and unfair situation he has been facing for decades. I implore you to use your lifelong commitment to truth and honor to commute his sentence. When I visited Joe for the first time, we spent a lot of time talking about God and spiritual teachings. Not only was he very interested in that topic but was well read and very knowledgeable. Two interesting qualities that I observed in Joe are that he had such a pure heart and he never complained. He had reasons to be bitter and lose hope, yet he has remained calm amidst great misunderstanding. It is time to allow this innocent man to walk free so his immeasurable talents and energy can serve others in a meaningful way.
- Minister David Praver
Read Full Letter

Free Joe Hunt

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."