A last-ditch effort is underway to get ex-Detroit mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick out of prison.
The city's former leader is currently serving time for racketeering and fraud. Now an online petition on Change.org is urging President Barack Obama to pardon him.
The US Supreme Court refused to grant him a new trial over the summer. So far, the petition has nearly 18,000 signatures. If it gets 100,000, the white house must formally respond.
In March, 2013 he was found guilty of two dozen crimes, including tax evasion and bribery. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August affirmed the conviction.
Kilpatrick's appeal which was declined by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, 2016, centered on an alleged conflict among his trial attorneys, among other very technical reasons. He quit office in another scandal in 2008 and is federal prison.
The petition is signed, "The People for the release of Kwame Kilpatrick" argue that 28 years in prison for 24 federal counts in excessive and unfair.
"I recognize that yes, Kwame is not without fault and has done wrong and should have to pay for what he has done, but let us remember that we are not talking about a career criminal," writes the author of the petition. "I believe the City of the Detroit will be a better place with our son out of prison and back home doing the work to rebuild his family, city and his reputation. Kwame is just too smart to be in prison and it is a disservice and an atrocity to lock him away for that long.
"His wife and children are barely surviving. They are being watched and hunted down by the government for any money or help they receive. It's wrong and it needs to be made right."
Kwame Kilpatrick penned a scathing diatribe his brother in law posted to Facebook, signed by him last July, claiming he was railroaded.
He wrote in part: "But the entire city bought it. The whole thing! Yes, "Real" Detroiters too! Don't fool yourselves. Millions of dollars was spent by the Government, Media Stations, and even Private Businesses to "Get Kwame!
"I AM NOT GUILTY OF ANY OF THE CRIMES THAT I WAS CONVICTED OF! NONE OF THEM!"
FOX 2's ML Elrick won a Pulitzer Prize with Jim Scaeffer at the Detroit Free Press investigating Kilpatrick. He later weighed in after Kilpatrick's online rant.