RIP: Roderick “Rudd” Walker, 41, LSD lifer and Deadhead

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Rudd, dead at 41

Roderick “Rudd” Walker, 41, a gentle Deadhead serving life without parole for LSD, died in federal prison Tuesday of an apparent heart attack.

Jeremy Davis, Rudd’s best friend, broke the sad news in a Facebook post. “I can’t believe I’m writing this, or even able to see with all the tears blurring my sight,” Jeremy began. read more…

Obama grants clemency to just 8 federal prisoners

6  crack and 2 meth offenders released
2,000+ non-violent drug lifers ignored
Sharanda Jones

Not released: Sharanda Jones, crack lifer

President Obama continued the sad practice of being stingy with clemency. On Wednesday, the president commuted the sentences of only 8 federal inmates — or 0.000037% of 212,283 federal prisoners — in the traditional pre-Christmas clemency grants.

No marijuana, powder cocaine or LSD offenders had sentences shortened.  Only four of the nation’s 2,100 non-violent lifers (drugs) in federal prison had their sentences commuted — or 0.0019% of this population.

The lucky few are:

read more…

Indonesia’s “bloodthirsty” president orders 64 drug offenders executed

DEA hires chauffeur to drive its local chief around Jakarta
By Dennis Cauchon, Editor

The slaughter of drug offenders continues in China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Singapore and elsewhere. The United States remains silent and complicit.

joko widodo

“Bloodthirsty” Indonesian president hailed by Time in October as “A New Hope.”

The latest bad news: Indonesia President Joko Widodo said he would not grant clemency to 64 drug offenders sentenced to death by firing squad. Five are to be shot to death in the next few days, starting the killing spree.

Those to be murdered include a British grandmothertwo Australians and, of course, many Indonesians. Nigerians have a frequent target of Indonesian firing squads as well.

Indonesia, a country of 250 million, stopped executing drug offenders in 2004 but resumed killings last year. Michael Bachelard of the Sydney Morning Herald says the country’s new president is particularly “bloodthirsty.” 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…

Helping cops know when to shoot

Editorial: The job of being a cop is an odd mix between social worker and soldier. Andy Griffith, the fictional Mayberry, N.C., sheriff from the 1960s, is an example of cop as social worker. He mostly nudges his community, calming his overreacting deputy and letting... read more

How to make a petition succeed for a loved one

  PLUS: The 12 most signed clemency petitions on The 5 keys to success. Petitions on are a powerful  tool for people seeking clemency. The site currently has 2.2 million signatures supporting about 40 clemency petitions.  The Clemency... read more

The Top 25 Women Deserving Clemency

Pauline Blake cropped

No. 21 Pauline Blake

Please sign the petition today.

The petition now has 2,000+ signatures.

Meet the women

Let’s send these people home

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

Barbara Scrivner, 48, Alannah’s mom, honor student

In 1992 Barbara had just given birth to Alannah (seen here with her mother). Her husband, Richard Scrivner, was in prison. Barbara pawned her valuables and was desperate to pay rent and meet living expenses.  Richard orchestrated a drug deal from prison and told... read more

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

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

More news from The Clemency Report

Rosa Parks’ mug shot

It was Thursday, December 1, 1955. How should news stories have reported this arrest? In fact, newspapers said nothing. The first story was published Sunday, December 4, in the Montgomery Advertiser. The story (reprinted below) focused on Negro leaders planning to... read more

LaVonne Roach, mom, daughter, poet, Lakota woman

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... 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 Clemency Reports sends content updates every couple of weeks.

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.

Human nature

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

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