News Release ~ 05/09/2014

Federal Defender Cynthia W. Roseberry Appointed Project Manager for Clemency Project 2014

Washington, DC (May 9, 2014) – Attorney Cynthia W. Roseberry, who is currently the Executive Director of the Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Georgia, Inc., was today appointed as the Project Manager for Clemency Project 2014.

Clemency Project 2014 is a working group composed of the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), as well as individuals active within those organizations. The Project was launched in January after Deputy Attorney General James Cole asked the legal profession to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received a shorter sentenced if they'd been sentenced today. Clemency Project 2014 members will collaborate to recruit and train attorneys on how to screen and write petitions for prisoners who meet the criteria laid out by the deputy attorney general on April 23.

As Project Manager, Roseberry will oversee and ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the project, including inmate intake, attorney training and allocation, and resource provision. An attorney with nearly 20 years of criminal defense experience and an extensive background in legal education, she was the director of the DePaul University College of Law Misdemeanor Clinic and currently teaches federal criminal law at Mercer University College of Law. In addition, Roseberry has served as a continuing legal education chair for NACDL, was President of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and served on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College. Ms. Roseberry will work out of NACDL's offices in Washington, D.C. Funding for the position was facilitated by a major grant from the ACLU, a participant in Clemency Project 2014, and additional funding was provided by the Foundation for Criminal Justice.

Vanita Gupta, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of the ACLU's Center for Justice, said "We are extremely fortunate that Cynthia has joined this massive effort – she has deep criminal defense and leadership experience to guide this historic initiative." 

NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer said: "Cynthia Roseberry is among the most highly respected defenders in the nation. She brings a keen sense of justice and dedication to this historic project. Her legendary skills as a trainer and motivator are precisely what Clemency Project 2014 needs to bring hundreds of volunteer lawyers up to speed in order to effectively analyze potential clemency candidates and present effective petitions. Cynthia's willingness to accept this challenge ensures that deserving inmates will have first-rate representation and that the Department of Justice and the President will receive first-rate petitions."

Lawyers interested in volunteering for the project may do so by writing to clemencyproject@nacdl.org.

The Department of Justice's statement can be found here. A full transcript of Deputy Attorney General Cole's speech can be found here.

Contact Information

Ivan Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, (202) 465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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