Gov. Shapiro: Grant Reprieve to Ezra Bozeman, A Disabled Incarcerated Elder

Ezra Bozeman smiles at the camera

Ezra Bozeman is a 68 year old severely disabled man who is incarcerated in PA state prison. Well respected by incarcerated people and prison staff alike, he has served as a leader and mentor to many people in state prison. In 2019, he suffered a neck injury that was sadly misdiagnosed and delayed treatment. This February, he required two emergency surgeries and tragically he emerged from the second surgery paralyzed. Ezra is now a quadriplegic who requires an extremely high level of care that the Department of Corrections is not suited to provide. 

Ezra is in a critical six month window. With the correct regimen of physical and occupational therapy, he may be able to regain some limited functionality in his hands and fingers that give him the capacity to feed himself. His overall health is even more precarious. The prognosis for Black people who become quadriplegic at an advanced age is not good. Ezra needs to be released to the community where he can receive the appropriate level of care and the love and support of his family both of which will increase his chances at survival. Ezra is fighting for his life.  

Governor Shapiro can help. The Pennsylvania Constitution makes clear that the Governor has an unconstrained power to grant reprieve. Unlike commutations or pardons which require the recommendation of the Board of Pardons, the PA Constitution grants the Governor the unilateral ability to suspend a sentence of incarceration indefinitely. Governor Shapiro could grant Ezra reprieve today and he could be released to the care of his loved ones or an appropriate long term care facility. This would likely extend his life and would undoubtedly increase the quality of his life.  

Join us in insisting that Black disabled lives matter.  

Call on Governor Shapiro to grant Ezra Bozeman reprieve today.   



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