Top 25 Women Deserving Clemency

Theresa and Chris, her high school sweetheart

No. 9 Theresa Crepeau and fiancee.

Read the list!


Request for photos of military veterans now in prison


Do you know someone behind bars who once served in the military?

We are collecting photos of inmates from their days serving the country. A photo gallery will run on Veterans Day (November 11). Send pictures to

Luis Rivera paratrooper

Luis Rivera, a former Army paratrooper, now in the 29th year of a life sentence for a non-violent drug offense

LaVonne Roach, mom, daughter, poet, Lakota woman

lavonne roach graduation

LaVonne has educated herself while in prison.

Give mom a (first) chance

South Dakota native LaVonne Roach, 50, a member of the Lakota Nation, has been recommended repeatedly to The Clemency Report as just the kind of gentle soul who deserves freedom from a 30-year meth sentence that makes no moral sense.

Those who know LaVonne talk of her kindness and intelligence as well as her spirited optimism and hard work while in prison for 17 years.

Read “See What I See,” a poem by LaVonne Arlene Roach

read more…

Attack against Deadheads was no hallucination

Deadheads in Raybrook, N.Y., federal prison. (Date unknown.)

Deadheads in Raybrook, N.Y., federal prison. (Date unknown.)

I wrote this story 22 years ago. It seems profoundly relevant, even today. — Dennis Cauchon, editor, The Clemency Report

Attack on Deadheads is no hallucination

Band’s followers handed stiff LSD sentences


October 17, 1992

David Chevrette was a young free-spirited hippie. His only possessions were his clothes, a dog and a 1970 Volkswagen bus painted with peace signs. For fun, he followed the Grateful Dead rock group on concert tours. read more…

What a man saw in prison today…


Luis Anthony Rivera.

Ever heard of him? Of course not.

Luis is an invisible human rights abuse victim, among the tens of thousands of people serving immorally long drug sentences that disgrace our nation. Luis, 57, is nearing the 30th anniversary of a life without parole federal prison sentence for a nonviolent cocaine offense.

Yet, a wonderful thing happened to Luis the other day. He saw a bush!

Luis recently transferred to a federal prison not far from Disney World. His new medium security prison has vegetation. The sight made Luis feel alive and grateful.

“They have trees here and, yes, I said trees!” he wrote in an e-mail to Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “They did not have trees at USP-1…not even a stupid bush. (His latest prison) has a nice big yard with a fence, so you can see the countryside…something I haven’t seen in ten years. I am so glad. Thank you for asking.”

Bending-Tree read more…

Can my daddy come home now?

A heartbroken daughter wants her dad back in time for her medical school graduation in 2016. 2014 By Taylor Palmer I am as old as my father’s time behind bars. My father was arrested January 12, 1989. Seven days later, I was born. Like many other men, mostly... read more

Let’s send these people home

No. 1 Alice Marie Johnson, 59, playwright and mentor

Alice is a talented writer and performer. She is currently writing a Christmas Play entitled, “It’s Time.” Alice is already renowned for her annual Easter play and has scripted and staged her own original sequels to “Sister Act” and “Madea Comes to Carswell,” which... read more

A medical student dreams of her father.

In 1989, Michael Palmer was convicted of running a crack business in Washington, D.C. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. His daughter, Taylor, was born seven days later. “Like every other fatherless child, I have cried myself to sleep at... read more

“We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

More news from The Clemency Report

LSD Lifer named to list of 25 most deserving clemency

    Roderick “Rudd” Walker, a Deadhead serving life without parole for LSD, was named to The Clemency Report’s Top 25 list of those deserving clemency. Rudd replaces marijuana lifer Randy Lanier, 60, a former Indy race car driver released... read more

Why I Fight For My Brother…

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Veda Ajamu, 46, a mother of three, has led a vigorous campaign for the release of her brother, Robert Shipp, who was sentenced to life in prison at age 20 for... read more

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The U.S. should release one million from prison. 

Is it really that many -- one million?

The actual number is 1,606,535. Read why.

Why don't I hear about these people?

Prison silences. Imprisoned men and women are barely real to most free people. The Clemency Report aims to change that.


What can I do?

Tell the story of an affected loved one. Sign the petitions at to show support for nonviolent drug offenders in prison.

Tell us about someone who deserves a shorter sentence.

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The 10 Historical Uses of Clemency

1) To correct hard cases.
2) To correct unduly severe sentences.
3) For mitigating circumstances.
4) For innocence or dubious guilt.
5) In death penalty cases.
6) For physical condition.
7) To restore civil rights.
8) To prevent deportations.
9) For political purposes or reasons of state.
10) To mitigate harm to children.

What We Do

The Clemency Report seeks to identify imprisoned men and women -- and classes of imprisoned men and women -- worthy of executive clemency and freedom.

The least we can do: The nation imprisons 2,280,400 people. The president and state governors should grant clemency each year to at least 1 of every 1,000 imprisoned people deserving of mercy. It is a "least we can do" standard.

Our purpose is to restore clemency to its historical role as an everyday tool to improve justice, mercy, common sense and proportion to our imprisonment system.

Human nature

"Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." -- Oscar Wilde
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