Newsflash:
Rep. Barbara Lee End Mass Criminalization The Pardon Attorney's office is open for business!
Monday, 05 May 2014 12:00

The Pardon Attorney's office is open for business!

Written by  Julie Stewart | FAMMS

The Pardon Attorney’s office is open for business! And it has a new boss! That’s pretty much the message that the Deputy Attorney General sent today when he announced that federal prisoners whose cases match a list of criteria he released, could have their cases reviewed for clemency! FAMM has long decried how dysfunctional the Pardon Attorney’s office is, so today’s announcement is really big news and could have deep impact.

The nuts and bolts of this good news is the clemency criteria that the Deputy Attorney General released today. He said the Pardon Attorney’s office will prioritize clemency applications from prisoners who meet all of the following factors:

  • They are currently serving a federal sentence in prison and, by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense(s) today;
  • They are nonviolent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large scale criminal organizations, gangs or cartels;
  • They have served at least 10 years of their prison sentence;
  • They do not have a significant criminal history;
  • They have demonstrated good conduct in prison; and
  • They have no history of violence prior to or during their current term of imprisonment.

What I find most exciting about this list is that they are willing to consider prisoners who have served 10 years (instead of just those serving life sentences) and that they will consider applications from people who are serving non-drug sentences (for instance fraud or nonviolent gun offenses). We understand that 23,000 federal prisoners have already served 10 years. That doesn’t mean they meet the other five criteria, so they won’t all be granted sentence commutations. But some of them will!

The other REALLY good news is that the current Pardon Attorney, Ron Rodgers, got kicked out! He is being replaced by a fantastic woman who cares deeply about clemency, Deborah Leff. She will breathe fresh life into the stale Office of the Pardon Attorney. I couldn’t be happier about that switch!

The Bureau of Prisons will be sending prisoners information by May 2nd about how to apply for clemency and a survey form to complete if they meet the criteria. The form will then be collected by the BOP and distributed to FAMM and four other groups (known as the Clemency Project 2014). The Clemency Project 2014 will be processing most of the cases and finding pro bono attorneys for cases that seem to meet the criteria. 

If you have a loved one in prison, please do not send cases directly to FAMM. We will receive them through the survey that will be processed by the Clemency Project 2014. Also, you do not need to pay a lawyer to file a clemency petition for you. The Clemency Project 2014 will find a pro bono lawyer for your loved on if he/she fits the criteria above.

There are still many questions to be answered about this process but, for the moment, revel in the big picture – the Department of Justice wants to find people who deserve to be let out of prison! That’s unbelievable! When I started FAMM almost 23 years ago, I never would have believed this could happen. Yet, now this dramatic change that could result in liberty for prisoners who otherwise might have died in prison or at least spent decades more time there!

Here is the full text of the Deputy Attorney General’s comments - they're worth the read! 

Read 4367 times

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Lee Campaign

Latest News from the Grayson Campaign

Latest News from the Schapira Campaign

  • Standard-Bearer in Pivotal Arizona Congressional Race
    Standard-Bearer in Pivotal Arizona Congressional Race

    With early ballots in the mail, and only three weeks from the August 28th primary, State Senator David Schapira has emerged as the Democratic standard-bearer in a closely watched and increasingly nasty three-way congressional race in Arizona that many observers see as a litmus test for national Democratic chances to pick up critical seats in Congress.

    Written on Thursday, 09 August 2012 01:45 Read more...
  • Harry Mitchell Endorses David Schapira for Congress
    Harry Mitchell Endorses David Schapira for Congress

    “The primary in Congressional District 9 has pitted three of the brightest members of the Democratic Party in Arizona against each other. All three candidates are leaders in our state and I am honored to call them friends.

    Written on Thursday, 26 July 2012 12:14 Read more...
  • A Guest Post From Arizona Progressive State Senator David Schapira
    A Guest Post From Arizona Progressive State Senator David Schapira

    Endorsements are a funny thing. Most of them aren't worth anything at all. I have two friends running in the Democratic primary in Arizona's brand new 9th CD, Kyrsten Sinema and Andrei Cherny. Kyrsten is a progressive and Andrei is somewhere in his own world ideologically. But the third guy... well, he's the one who's been endorsed by Raúl-- and by PDA. Whomever wins the August 28th primary is, likelier than not, headed to Congress. That third guy is David Schapira, the Senate Democratic Leader.

    Written on Saturday, 30 June 2012 13:38 Read more...
  • David Schapira Receives PDA Endorsement
    David Schapira Receives PDA Endorsement

    On the May Inside the Party call, David Schapira (AZ-9) received the PDA National endorsement. Currently David Schapira is the Arizona State Senate Democratic Leader.

    Written on Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • Arizona Communications Workers of America State Council Endorses David Schapira for Congress
    Arizona Communications Workers of America State Council Endorses David Schapira for Congress

    The Arizona Communications Workers of America (CWA) State Council announced today their endorsement of Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira, D-Tempe, in the race for Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District. The state council is comprised of the Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association (AZCPOA), the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and multiple CWA local affiliates.

    Written on Thursday, 17 May 2012 19:55 Read more...
  • Congressman Raúl Grijalva Endorses David Schapira
    Congressman Raúl Grijalva Endorses David Schapira

    Congressman Raúl Grijalva, AZ-07, today announced his endorsement of Arizona Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira, D-Tempe, in his campaign for Arizona’s Ninth Congressional District. “Voters are looking for candidates who stand up for what they believe in and can win, not by hiding their values, but by sharing them with voters. David is that candidate,” said Rep. Grijalva.

    Written on Monday, 30 April 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • Arizona Union Rights Stripped

    Arizona Governor Jan Brewer pushes the country's most anti-union agenda yet. David Shapira, Democratic leader of the Arizona state senate, slams his Republican colleagues. Welcome back to "The Ed Show." Jan Brewer and the Arizona Republicans are on a tear. they are on the offensive. they are on a mission to completely destroy public employee unions. have you heard the story before?

    Written on Thursday, 02 February 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • State Senator David Schapira Jumps Into District 9 Congressional Race
    State Senator David Schapira Jumps Into District 9 Congressional Race

    As predicted, former state Senator Kyrsten Sinema's not the only Democrat with her eye on Arizona's new Congressional seat -- this morning, state Senate Minority Leader David Schapira announced that he, too, will run in Arizona's newly formed 9th Congressional district.

    Written on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 00:00 Read more...

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Like Rep. Barbara Lee

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of