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A Southland campaign to have soul pioneer James Brown released from prison will seek 250,000 signatures to present to South Carolina Gov. Carroll A. Campbell Jr., in whose state Brown is serving a six-year sentence for assault and failing to stop for police. The Coalition to Free James Brown, which is circulating petitions at shopping centers, parks and beaches, is "just a group of concerned citizens," says co-founder Byron Williams. "I'm a Vietnam veteran and I remember when James Brown came to put on shows for the troops, and I heard about the things he did to stop rioting in the U.S. during that time . . . so I felt it was worthy to aid this man as best we could. We're not naive enough to believe he's not guilty. But the amount of penalty assessed isn't justified by what he did."

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