Top 25 Women Deserving Clemency

Theresa and Chris, her high school sweetheart

No. 9 Theresa Crepeau, in the 21st year of a cocaine sentence, is engaged to her high school sweetheart.

Read the list!

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

I wrote this story 22 years ago. It seems profoundly relevant, even today.

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

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

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…

Can my daddy come home now?

A heartbroken daughter wants her dad back in time for her medical school graduation in 2016.
Michael Taylor Palmer adults recent
michael and taylor palmer young


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 black, my father is serving an unjustly long life without parole sentence in federal prison for a non-violent crack offense.

But I don’t want to tell you about his case. I want to tell you about mine. read more…

Let’s send these people home

Top 25 Women Deserving Clemency: Correct Link

Correct link to TOP 25 WOMEN DESERVING CLEMENCY Please click this link to get to the Top 25 Women Deserving Clemency list Billy Dekle, 64, pot pilot serving life, ranked #19 on clemency list. A story with a sad twist:  A homicidal, suicidal killer’s final act of... 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

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

Why 1 million prisoners should be released ASAP

The United States imprisoned people at a fairly steady pace until about 1980. Then, as if a switch was flipped, our country more than tripled its imprisonment rate, leaving us out of step not just with other countries but with our own traditions. We used to imprison 1... 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