Larry Yarbrough, 66, an innocent man serving a life sentence in Oklahoma for a minor, non-violent drug offense, was denied parole this week by the state’s Pardon and Parole Board.
In March, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin had commuted his sentence from life without parole to life with parole. Previous parole boards had recommended his freedom and governors rejected it. This time, the governor made it possible but a newly constituted, prosecutor-friendly parole board rejected it.
This is the twisted reality of Oklahoma’s justice system, unable and unwilling to correct a mistake. read more…
Luis Anthony Rivera, 59, a wonderful man doing life without parole for cocaine since 1983, was released suddenly Tuesday night under the groundbreaking “Holloway doctrine” that permits reducing sentences that are unduly harsh yet technically correct.
Sam S. Sheldon, an attorney and former federal prosecutor, is the tour de force behind this important legal innovation, which could play a huge role in winning early releases for those serving multi-decade federal sentences.
His motion to win Luis’ freedom describes the Holloway doctrine this way: read more…
Download historical incarceration data
Historical data on the U.S. incarceration is surprisingly hard to find. To solve this problem, The Clemency Report presents a chart showing all historical data and making an Excel spreadsheet with the numbers easily available to all. read more…
Update: Sentence not commuted. Bob Riley, a kind soul who “treads lightly in this world,” is in the 22nd year of a federal life without parole LSD sentence. The details of his unjust sentence are summarized in this New York Times article.
This story is about Bob, the human being. It was written with Bob’s help, to reflect his unique voice. read more…
President Obama shorted 46 non-violent drug sentences to a November 10, 2015 release date. The official list is here. An analysis of the race, gender, drug and sentence effect is here: “Mostly black, mostly crack.”
Details on each individual are in the story you’re reading.
Thirteen drug offenders (including Jeffrey Toler, pictured) were serving life without parole.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas‘s mom got her crack sentence reduced. Katrina Thomas, 42, will be freed in November, a year and a half early, after serving more than 15 years.
Also to be released: an 84-year-old black man given 45 years for crack…a 72-year-old black man given a life sentence for crack…and a 33-year-old black man sentenced to life for selling crack as a teenager.
Meet the 46 clemency recipients: read more…
Crack + Black = Life
Update: Donald’s life sentence was reduced by a judge to 30 years. He will be released April 26, 2016.
“Intelligent. Concerned. Loving. Family-oriented.”
That’s how Donald’s mom describes her son.
Is she right? The evidence shows she is.
Spend a few moments today meeting a fine man, Donald B.W. Evans, an intelligent 50-year-old with much to offer.
In 1990, the nation’s justice system froze this good man’s life into a racist stereotype: worthless young black male. Today, Donald is serving life without parole because he — and hundreds of others who look like him — sold crack cocaine. read more…
The Clemency Report loves and respects the drug war’s prisoners, frequent targets of bigotry and ignorance. read more…
Pot lifers not eligible for parole
Federal judges have sentenced 54 people to life without parole for marijuana since 1996, according to a new clemencyreport.org analysis of federal court data. read more…
Violent offenders now get life sentences more than drug offenders
Federal judges sentenced just 41 drug offenders to life without parole in 2014, an astonishing 78% drop since President Obama took office. read more…
Let’s send these people home
“We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven.”Archbishop Desmond Tutu
More news from The Clemency Report
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Crack + Black = Life
New: The 10 Most Outrageous Crack Cocaine Sentences
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 change.org to show support for nonviolent drug offenders in prison.
Tell us about someone who deserves a shorter sentence.
LSD lifer Bob Riley says thanks for caring about him.