Top 25 Women Deserving Clemency

No. 1 Alice Marie Johnson

No. 1 Alice Marie Johnson

Age: 59. Hometown: Olive Branch, Miss. Offense: cocaine. Served: 18 years. Release date: Death.

Alice is a talented writer and performer serving life without parole. She is currently writing a Christmas Play entitled, “It’s Time.”  Read more…

No. 2 Josephine Ledezma

No. 2 Josephine Ledezma

Age: 56. Offense: cocaine. Served: 22 years. Release date: Death.

Josie had three young children when she was sentenced to life without parole. The children are now grown with families of their own. Read more. 

No. 3 Danielle Metz

No. 3 Danielle Metz

Age: 47. Home: New Orleans, La. Offense: cocaine. Served: 21 years. Release date: Death.

Danielle, wife of an older man who dealt drugs, and her children bravely escaped for a new life while her abusive husband gambled at a casino.  Two months later, she was indicted. Read more.

No. 4 Teresa Mechell Griffin

No. 4 Teresa Mechell Griffin

Age: 49. Offense: crack cocaine. Served: 22 years. Release date: Death.

“I have done the best I could with the prison time given me. I want to gain the tools to live a better life. I hated the life I had but felt trapped in it.” She was 26 and pregnant with her fourth child when arrested for helping her boyfriend’s drug dealing. Read more…

No. 5 Ramona Brant

No. 5 Ramona Brant

Age: 51. Home: Charlotte, N.C. Offense: cocaine. Served: 20 years. Release date: Death.

Ramona proudly states: “I have received NO incident reports during this time, not one write up.” The mother of two had a single traffic violation before her arrest. She suffered a heart attack in 2009. Read more…

“Our moms need your help.”

Sharanda Jones and daughter Clenesha

No. 6 Sharanda and daughter Clenesha

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No. 6 Sharanda Jones

No. 6 Sharanda Jones

Age: 47. Home: Terrell, Tex. Offense: crack cocaine. Served: 16 years. Release date: Death.

“I still cannot believe that, in the United States of America, we sentence first-time non-violent offenders to life, and death, in prison,” Sharanda says. More than 220,000 have signed her daughter’s petition asking for her mom’s release. Read more…

No. 7 Rose Summers

No. 7 Rose Summers

Age: 44. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 18 years. Release date: August 9, 2019.

“This has been a very long journey and I’m proud to say I have made the best of the situation,” Rose says. At age 26, Rose was given the longest sentence in her drug conspiracy for refusing to testify against the primary drug dealer: her mom.

Overcoming family hardship, Rose turned her life around in prison in extraordinary ways. Her son Victor, raised by loving Aunt Ella, is 18 and in college. It’s time for mother and son to reunite. Read more…

No. 8 Irma Alred

No. 8 Irma Alred

Age: 57. Offense: marijuana. Served: 20 years. Release date: Sept. 28, 2020.

Everyone else in her marijuana case is free, even the major players. The Native American mom says: “I have 2 beautiful kids. Tania and Antonio have grown up without me. I am so proud of them, yet so sad for all I’ve missed.” Read more…

No. 9 Theresa Crepeau

No. 9 Theresa Crepeau

Age: 44. Offense: cocaine. Served: 20 years. Release date: July 26, 2017.

Theresa and her high school sweetheart, Chris, fell in love again — while she was in prison. They are to be married upon her release. Read more…

No. 10 Angie Jenkins

No. 10 Angie Jenkins

Age: 50. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 16 years. Release date: July 26, 2024.

Angie, a Native American, is seen here with her daughter before her prison sentence. The young girl, Francine, is now 33, married and has a child. Angie’s son, Ruben, served as a Marine in Iraq and was sworn in last year as a sheriff’s deputy in Klamath County, Oregon. This good family deserves to be together.  Read more…

No. 11 Mary Ritcherson

No. 11 Mary Ritcherson

Age: 69. Offense: cocaine. Served: 24 years. Release date: March 16, 2016.

“First of all, I would like to say that I am not a saint,” says spunky Mary. “However, the 30-year sentence that I am serving is extremely disproportionate to the alleged crime.” Her prison case manager favors releasing the 69-year-old who’s in poor health. Read more…

No. 12 Anita Gage

No. 12 Anita Gage

Age: 64. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 24 years. Release date: Sept. 26, 2016.

“Anita is one of the nicest women I’ve ever met,” says Amy Povah of her former prison roommate. “She never asks anyone for anything.  I insisted that she let me put her on this list.” When sentenced, Anita was 40, her  daughter was 13, her son was 18. Today, Melody is 36. Michael is 41. Mom is 64. Enough. Read more…

No. 13 LaVonne Roach

No. 13 LaVonne Roach

Age: 50. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 17 years. Release date: Jan. 28, 2024.

LaVonne, a Native American (Lakota) from South Dakota, had been subjected to almost non-stop violence from the men in her life. She discovered safety — and herself — in prison. She’s become a poet, a thinker and a remarkable person who survived brain surgery for an aneurysm in 2009. She’s needed back home for her experience and wisdom. Read more…

No. 14 Elizabeth Cronan

No. 14 Elizabeth Cronan

Age: 54. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 16 years. Release date: Dec. 31, 2022.

An only child in a middle class family, Beth saw her life unravel after a divorce. A relationship with a meth dealer put her in prison where she became a dog handler and earned an associate’s degree.

Says her mom, Jeanne:  “During the past 16 years, I have been with my daughter every step of the way, encouraging her when she thought there was no tomorrow. At 84 years old, I pray that Beth will be released in my lifetime.” Read more…

No. 15 Rita Becerra

No. 15 Rita Becerra

Age: 63. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 20 years. Release date: Nov. 11, 2017.

“From the very moment I became incarcerated, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I have served him with all my heart and have translated for ministries for many years,” says Rita. “I am bilingual and have composed about 30 songs in Spanish for the Lord.” Rita was a single mom, long-time hairdresser and first-time offender whose boyfriend — the real drug dealer — was released long ago.

No. 16 Cynthia Shank

No. 16 Cynthia Shank

Age: 42. Offense: cocaine. Served: 6 years. Release date: March 24, 2021.

“At least 1,000 different times, my daughters have cried out to be, ‘Just come home,'” Cynthia says. She had already left the drug life, remarried and started a flourishing family when old relationship with a drug dealer came back to haunt her. Cynthia’s daughters –now ten, eight and six —  deserve a chance to have a mother. Read more…

No. 17 Lori Kavitz

No. 17 Lori Kavitz

Age: 55. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 13 years. Release date: Nov. 4, 2022.

Lori received a longer sentence than her boyfriend, the primary drug dealer, and the dealer who supplied them. U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett of Iowa called her “a prime example of the idiocy of the United States Sentencing Guidelines…” and “another of the the many, many, many, examples of what I consider to be unjust sentences that I’ve been forced to impose.”

No. 18 Deniese Watts

No. 18 Deniese Watts

Age: 50. Offense: heroin. Served: 14 years. Release date: Feb. 2, 2017.

Deniese would be free today if her trial judge’s sentence — 14 years, three months — had been followed. The judge reduced her sentence because of the harm its length would cause her only child. An appeals court ruled that harm to children was irrelevant. Deniese, a firt-time offender who’d played a minor role in a drug conspiracy, was then sentenced to 19 years and seven months. Her son graduated from college this year. Mom wasn’t there. Read more…

Terry Anderson and twin daughters

No. 19 Terry Anderson with twin daughters.

19. Terry Anderson. Age 52. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 19 years. Release date: June 4, 2023.

20. Karan Denise Daniel. Age: 46. Offense: methamphetamine. Served 18 years. Release date: October 16, 2017.

21. Pauline Kay Blake. Age: 46. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 9 years. Release date: Feb. 17, 2022.

22. Mandy Martinson. Age: 37. Offense: methamphetamine. Served: 10 years. Release date: Oct. 21, 2017.

23. Mary Rose Ziman. Age: 65. Offense: methamphetamine, marijuana. Served: 16 years. Release date: June 14, 2023.

24. Patricia Clarke, Age: 42. Offense: cocaine, marijuana. Served: 23 years. Release date: Death.

No. 25 Elizabeth Rushing

No. 25 Elizabeth Rushing

Age: 48. Offense: money laundering. Served: 14 years. Release date: Sept. 25, 2021.

Elizabeth was charged in three counts of a 42-count conspiracy while working at a company that turned out to be a real estate scam. The company owner and scam leader pled guilty to 18 counts, testified against those that worked for him and was released in 2005. Only Elizabeth, the least important person in the scheme, remains behind bars. She has led an exemplary life in prison. Read more…

“We appreciate your help.”

No. 21 Pauline Blake

No. 21 Pauline Blake

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The Top 25 List

Created and managed by Amy Povah, founder of CAN-DO Clemency. 

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No. 13 LaVonne and her family

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