Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Help Free Billy Burton

In 1992 Billy Burton, aged 29, made the biggest mistake of his life. He had been travelling the World, got into extreme financial difficulty and made the terrible decision to carry cannabis out of Manila.

Billy was carrying 12lbs of cannabis and was arrested at Manila airport and was subsequently given a life term of 30 years. Initially he was informed that he could expect to serve eight years before being considered for parole; however before he reached eligibility to apply, the Filipino government enforced an embargo on parole for all drug offenders, even if sentencing had taken place prior to the ruling. Retrospective increases in sentences for all drug related offences, mean that Billy will now not be due for release until 2032, by which time he will be 70.

Billy fully accepts his wrong doing. Now aged 48, he has spent the past eighteen years simply surviving. He committed a crime and does not try to excuse himself, he fully accepts that this was wrong; but after 18 long years, we his supporters, feel he has paid the price. By comparison, if he had committed a similar offence in the UK, he could have expected to have served five years.

"For my disrespect, lack of decency and failure to uphold moral standards when I committed a crime 18 years ago, I have only regrets.  There are no excuses.  I do not think however that only bad people do bad things; sometimes good people also do bad things"

Billy Burton

Text Source courtesy of 

Billy is also a victim of Thalidomide  and now at 48 years old his health is starting to deteriorate as a direct result from this drug.  I find it ironic that Billy has been incarcerated for trying to smuggle a relatively small amount of cannabis out of The Philippines, whilst the people who distributed Thalidomide which disabled thousands of children across the world and brought heartache to so many families walk free.

To find out more about Billy and offer your support, please visit: FREEBILLYBURTON.COM
Just signing your name on the petition will help in the campaign to release Billy.


  1. Thank you for posting this.
    Retrospective legislation is always unjust.
    Did those who used him get similar treatment from the authorities?
    I rather doubt it.

  2. Dear Dash, that's shocking he's served all that time! I shall sign the petition now. Are you in England or France? xx

  3. You bet your ass I'll sign. What an injustice.

  4. This is so sad. Everyone should sign this petition.

  5. God this is awful, the poor man, Dash I will sign this petition .. I hope it would do some good. I will also retweet and share this post to get as many people as possible to do the same.
    When will they learn that drugs are not the problem and legalise them. People will always use drugs so educate them to know what they do, keep them legal, pure and tax them.. cut out the gangsters xx
    Great but sad post

  6. I love people who put this kind of information up on blogs.. I will be sure to try and help Billy. thanks Carla

  7. Oh I just tried to leave a comment and it all went wrong

  8. Hi Dash
    This is very sad.. Incredible that some get away with murder. and others.. in moments of stupidity.. youthful stupidity.. pay harshly for the rest of their lives..

    Have you heard of Scott Rush.. He is a young australian that got caught up in the Bali Nine Drug Trafficking.. It was a stupid thing he did.. but he was so young and naive and now sitting on death row for his mistakes.. we [australians] are currently awaiting the results of his last appeal.. My heart breaks for his parents.. they actually gave the australian federal police the heads up in an attempt to stop him at the airport.. Instead.. the AFP allowed him to leave the country and alerted the Balinese authorities to arrest him at the other end.. unbelievable.. if he'd been stopped here his life would not be in the balance..

    Ok.. sorry to go on about it... something currently on my mind..

    Take care.. I'm pretty bad at getting around blogs lately.. internet issues since i moved house.. ciao ciao xxx Julie

  9. I will definitely sign this petition - he has served long enough and should not be made to pay for his crime any longer...thank you for bringing this to our attention Dash. x

  10. How very sad. I will sign the petition right now. He was wrong but has clearly served longer than his crime was worth, what a shame real criminals do not get this treatment eh? e xxx

  11. A harsh, spiteful penalty, a pound of flesh.
    I signed the petition and have passed it on to friends.
    X David

  12. Thank you all so much for your kind comments and taking the time to sign Billy's petition. Billy is made aware of all the support he is getting on the outside and is humbled and overwhelmed that people care.

    I will keep you posted of all new developments, I know the campaigners will not give up until they have a positive outcome.

  13. Another example how cruel world can be...made me very sad...I'll sign the petition.

  14. Dear Dash, just to let everyone know you'll receive an email which you have to validate for your comment to appear. I missed it at first.

    Hope you're having a great weekend. There's a blog tag over at mine for you xx


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