Washington, DC (Nov. 4, 2016) – After commuting the sentences of 200 prisoners in October, President Obama today commuted the sentences of 72 more prisoners. Of today's 72 grants, at least 51 were in cases supported by Clemency Project 2014. That brings the total number of commutations granted by President Obama to date to 944, of which at least 469 were supported by Clemency Project 2014.
"As we near 1,000 grants by President Obama, nearly 500 of which were supported by Clemency Project 2014, our hearts fill with joy for those whose sentences have been commuted and hope for those whose petitions await action by the administration," said Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014. "The Obama administration has said it was committed to ever more grants, and it seems quite clear that the President’s actions are matching his words. None of the work of Clemency Project 2014 to provide pro bono attorneys to thousands of prisoners would be possible without the overwhelming commitment of the bar to step up and volunteer to help these worthy applicants."
Clemency Project 2014, an unprecedented, wholly independent effort by the nation's bar, has recruited and trained nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse practice backgrounds and completed screening of over 34,000 of the more than 36,000 federal prisoners who have requested volunteer assistance. The Project's painstaking review of these cases revealed that the overwhelming majority of those requests were by applicants who did not meet the criteria put forward by the Department of Justice in April 2014. To date, Clemency Project 2014 has submitted more than 2,150 petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.
The American Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the Federal Public and Community Defenders, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers have joined together under a working group they call Clemency Project 2014. Through the efforts of Clemency Project 2014, the participating organizations are identifying potential clemency petitioners and recruiting and training volunteer lawyers to assist them in securing clemency.
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