Larry Duke, 67, was released immediately from federal prison Thursday when the Bureau of Prisons and a federal judge approved his request for “compassionate release.”
Larry was ranked No. 6 on The Clemency Report list of marijuana offenders deserving immediate freedom and No. 15 on the national list of those deserving clemency for any offense. He had been in prison for a non-violent marijuana offense since 1991.
Beth Curtis of lifeforpot.com and others had advocated diligently for his release for many years. Beth had included Larry in a clemency petition advocating release of all non-violent marijuana lifers 62 and and older.
Larry’s release is particularly important because it’s the first known case of the Bureau of Prisons approving compassionate release for a person serving life without parole. Although compassionate release regulations didn’t exclude it, the Bureau of Prisons had always been vague about whether it considered lifers eligible for early release.
Other seemingly qualified lifers had been denied and died in prison, including 75-year-old George Daniel.