Sep 16

Clemency Project 2014 – Excessive Prison Sentences

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Attorney Ryan Garry and particularly the efforts of attorney Elizabeth Duel, have voluntarily taken on two cases representing incarcerated individuals whose prison sentences were exceeding long given the Scales of Justice for Criminal Defense Attorneysdrug nature of the crime they were convicted for. These two pro-bono clients are serving decades in prison for drug offenses despite the nationwide effort to reduce mandatory minimum sentences and lower guidelines sentences for drug offenders. Elizabeth and Ryan work tirelessly on their behalf to get them out of prison. They are awaiting a determination from the President.

Clemency Project 2014

Clemency Project 2014 is an unprecedented, independent effort by the nation’s bar. A working group including the American Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, many federal public and community defenders, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the project has received more than 36,000 petitions and has helped over 2,500 attorneys volunteer their time to help prepare petitions. Lawyers hailing from nearly a hundred of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms, hundreds small firms and solo practitioners, and dozens of law schools and clinics, leading not-for-profit organizations, and the criminal defense bar are answering this call.

On August 30, 2016, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 111 prisoners, including 72 people whose petitions were supported by Clemency Project 2014. This was the second round of grants that month, with 214 granted earlier in August, of which 118 were supported by the project. These people’s lives have been changed forever, and Ryan and Elizabeth are hopeful that our clients receive the same relief.

You can support the Foundation for Criminal Justice and learn more about all of its reform efforts at www.nacdl.org/foundation.