On July 25th at 9 am Luke O’Donovan will walk out of Washington State Prison after serving two years there. We are thrilled to see our friend free from behind prison walls. He is in high spirits and very excited to be released. As many of you who have been in touch with him know, he has occupied his time with a rigorous workout routine, lots of reading, and correspondence with all those who took the time to communicate with him.
Unfortunately he will not be allowed to return to his home and life in Atlanta. Due to the judge adding a banishment condition to his probation, Luke will have to move all the way to the West Coast for the next eight years, or until the conditions of his probation are changed. Moving forward, here are some ways to continue to support Luke as he starts life on strict probation.
- Money– Luke will need money in order to cover his living expenses while he gets on his feet and moves his belongings and life to the West Coast. He will also need money to cover the probation and drug testing fees that he will be subject too. You can donate or set up recurring donations here
- Care Packages– Luke will need lots of little things, like clothes to rebuild his wardrobe, delicious vegan food, and other items that you are not allowed to have in prison. If you would like to send a care package please email firstname.lastname@example.org to work out details on where and what to send.
- Solidarity and Support- Throughout Luke’s case and subsequent imprisonment the support and solidarity he has gotten has been overwhelming. From the solidarity marches and actions to the mountain of mail and the hundreds of postcards sent to the judge we have been thrilled by all those who have taken action for him. Once things are more clear we will begin trying to get his banishment condition appealed, check back for updates. For now any and all actions are appreciated. As Luke’s new living situation isn’t worked out yet we can’t provide contact info at this time, but email us at email@example.com if you want to get in touch.
Luke is set to be free from prison, but there is still a lot to do. Thanks everyone for your past and future support.
On New Year’s Eve of 2013, Luke O’Donovan attended a house party in Reynoldstown, a neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. Luke was seen dancing with and kissing other men at the party. Later in the night he was insulted with homophobic slurs, and attacked by several people at once. Luke unsuccessfully attempted to escape, at which point several witnesses reported watching between 5 and 12 men ganging-up on Luke and stomping on his head and body, evidently with the intent to kill him. Luke was called a faggot before and during the attack. Throughout the course of the attack, Luke and five others were stabbed. Luke was subsequently imprisoned and charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as one count of attempted murder. He spent two and a half weeks in jail without bond before being released under bond conditions that drastically affected his life. None of the other individuals involved in the altercation were charged.
Luke is a young queer man previously residing in metro Atlanta. At the time of his arrest, Luke was a student at Georgia Gwinnett College and planned on transferring to Georgia State University — a plan he subsequently had to abandon because of legal fees, medical costs, and bond conditions. The conditions of Luke’s bond caused him to move out of the house he was staying in, as well as preventing him from interacting with a large section of his community in Northeast Atlanta.
Luke’s trial concluded on August 12, 2014, when he accepted a plea deal. The negotiated deal was as follows: Luke will be in the Georgia prison system for 2 years beginning on August 12, after which he will begin eight years of harsh probation. At the time of sentencing, the judge added to the negotiated plea that Luke will be banished from the state of Georgia for the eight years of his probation. Luke will be released from prison on July 25th, 2016.
To contact Luke’s support team,