Online Petitions Matter: Here's 5 Examples That Made A Difference

Photo of Sharanda Jones via CNN
 By Nikki Igbo

If you’ve ever signed an online petition then you probably receive at least two invitations a week to sign another one to stop, combat, protest, prevent, derail, support, fund, defund, rescue, remove, rebuild, renew and/or cancel one thing or another. You’ve also most likely forwarded an online petition. You may have even created an online petition. Why? Because we’re living in the age of internet activism, you’re woke, and woke people in the age of internet activism have to do SOMETHING. In the midst of all of this digital signing, you’ve probably wondered if these online petitions actually make a difference. The answer is yes. In fact, here are five examples of countless online petitions that have made a significant impact and will inspire you to keep signing, forwarding and creating.

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Never Give Up. What This Mom Did When Her Son Was Wrongly Imprisoned.

LaVerne Knighten & Son Willie Knighten
By Erickka Sy Savané

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but make up the majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated, according to a study conducted by the National Registry of Exonerations on race and wrongful convictions. Blacks constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the Registry (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.” This racial disparity exist for all major crime categories, but the report focused on the three types of crimes producing the largest numbers of exonerations in the Registry: murder, sexual assault, and drug crimes.

This, however, was not on Laverne Knighten's mind in 1996, when her oldest son, Willie Knighten, was issed a life sentence in connection with a drive-by murder in Toledo, Ohio. For any mom this would be devastating news, but what made it even worse was the she knew deep in her heart that her son was innocent.
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