Bernina Mata is a 52-year-old Latinx transgender man, and a queer criminalized survivor, who has been imprisoned for 23 years. He was convicted of capital murder, based on a fiercely racist, homophobic prosecution that argued his then lesbian identity caused him to kill and ignored his extensive history of sexual and physical abuse, and sentenced to die in 1999. In 2003, his death sentence was commuted to life in prison as part of a successful clemency campaign that commuted all death sentences in Illinois. If prosecutors had not sought the death penalty, he would likely be free today.
Bryce’s only chance for freedom is to receive clemency from Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. In January 2022, Bryce and his team submitted a clemency petition to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, who reviews petitions and makes recommendations to the governor. At a hearing in June 2022, Bryce’s team made the case for his freedom, accompanied by dozens of supporters.
Now, the decision is squarely in the hands of Gov. Pritzker. He has the power to commute his sentence to time served. Please Join us in calling on Gov. Pritzker to bring Bryce home!
Click here to send him an e-mail today. (Note: this tool uses Bryce's former name and pronouns, but will be updated soon!)
Bryce's Freedom Team
A dedicated team is supporting Bryce’s current effort to seek freedom through a clemency campaign. Including supporters from Love & Protect, People's Law Office, Rachel White-Domain and the Illinois Prison Project, American Friends Service Committee Chicago, a third year law student from NYU, and anchored by Bryce’s long-time attorney Joey Mogul, we're working with Bryce to tell his story and win his freedom. Together, we'll give the Illinois Prison Review Board and Governor Pritzker the opportunity to correct the homophobic and racist wrongs Bryce experienced. There are many ways to support Bryce’s freedom, and we are especially grateful to the organizations that have signed on in support of the campaign.