Politicians often vilify so-called violent criminals. But the “violent felon” label can mean someone committed anything from a murder to a purse-snatching or verbal threat—and doesn’t line up with what science tells us about violence.
Tana Ganeva Feb 28, 2023
But if he loses his appeal and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declines to grant him clemency, he will likely be sent back to prison.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Jan 25, 2022
A Homeless Man Has Spent 800 Days At Rikers After Stealing Cold Medicine. Now His Prison Sentence May Be Beginning.
Blind in one eye and at risk of losing vision in the other, 58-year-old Reginald Randolph is now on the verge of being sent to state prison to serve out a maximum of four years in state prison.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Nov 02, 2021
Leaving prison often hinges on completing rehabilitative programming. The pandemic caused many of these required courses to be put on hold.
Daniel Moritz-Rabson Jun 29, 2021
Despite sentencing reforms, hundreds of thousands of people who have been incarcerated over the last several decades are ineligible for parole.
Rachel M. Cohen May 24, 2021
Even with the recent creation of the Juvenile Sentence Review Board, the governor’s process for granting clemency remains unclear.
Katie Jane Fernelius May 21, 2021
Advocates have been urging Governor Gavin Newsom to make greater use of his clemency power, especially for older prisoners who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Proposed legislation would allow people accused of crimes to tell juries if they had a mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, or an intellectual or developmental disability at the time of a crime. The bill could have helped individuals like Matthew Rushin.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Feb 24, 2021
The Board of Pardons unanimously recommended Bruce Norris for a commutation in December, but Tom Wolf had yet to approve it.
Joshua Vaughn Feb 01, 2021
I Was A Child In An Adult Prison System. Now I Fight For Those, Like Me, Who Deserve A Brighter Future When They’re Released
As a staff member of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, I fight for all children, especially those impacted by systemic racism in our criminal justice system.
Catherine Jones Dec 15, 2020
Researchers Estimate Mass Incarceration Contributed To More Than Half A Million Additional Cases Of COVID-19 Over The Summer
The report found that spread inside correctional facilities contributed to community spread, particularly in California, Florida and Texas.
Biden Must Fix The Broken Executive Clemency Process. This Is Who He Should Select To Lead That Effort.
Rachel Barkow, a respected legal scholar, expert on executive clemency, and former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia would be an ideal choice to start and lead a powerful new program inside the Biden White House.
Emily Galvin-Almanza Dec 01, 2020
As Decriminalization Drives Reforms For Marijuana Convictions, Activists See Others Serving Time Left Behind
Despite the growing consciousness around the need for reforms, thousands of prisoners who might also deserve clemency or early release are slipping through the cracks.
Tana Ganeva Aug 06, 2020
Democrats in Congress must still their impulse to legislate restrictions on clemency. Not only would such a law be unconstitutional, but it may deter future presidents from using clemency the way that the framers intended.
Mark Osler Jul 15, 2020
Harris, now 72 and blind, had been serving a life sentence for the shooting death of her husband, a man she said had abused her for years. Last month, the Arkansas Parole Board agreed to free her.
Lauren Gill Jun 05, 2020
Less Than Half a Percent of Pennsylvania Prisoners Have Been Granted Emergency Release During the Pandemic
Advocates had hoped Governor Tom Wolf would use his executive reprieve power to release thousands of people from prisons in the face of COVID-19.
Joshua Vaughn May 29, 2020
Arkansas Grants Parole To Willie Mae Harris Three Decades After She Was Convicted For Killing Her Husband
Harris, now 72 and blind, was sentenced to life in prison in 1985. Since she first started petitioning for executive clemency in 1998, the state’s parole board recommended her for release five times.
Lauren Gill May 20, 2020
Louisiana Women Incarcerated for Defending Themselves Against Abusive Partners Seek Clemency Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The state has recommended the release of 10 women at a coronavirus-ravaged prison—but Governor John Bel Edwards still hasn’t signed the paperwork.
Jerry Iannelli May 20, 2020
He Found Freedom After More Than Two Decades In Prison. But He Was Released Into A World Changed by COVID-19.
Euka Wadlington was denied clemency by the Department of Justice under Obama. But then he mounted a legal challenge to sentencing enhancements used in his drug case; in April, a federal judge granted his release. Now he’s adjusting to freedom—and life in the coronavirus era.
Euka Wadlington May 15, 2020
People are dying in jails and prisons because elected officials hesitated at the worst possible moment.
Jay Willis Apr 09, 2020
Amid COVID-19 Panic, Pennsylvania Republicans Warn Governor Against Taking Executive Action to Release Prisoners
They tell Tom Wolf that taking any unilateral actions to reduce the state’s prison population would endanger public safety.
Joshua Vaughn Apr 09, 2020
There are no good reasons for the president to keep vulnerable people behind bars any longer.
Jay Willis Mar 31, 2020
The Office of General Counsel determined that the governor could likely use reprieves to release vulnerable people from prison to control COVID-19’s spread, but the office is advising against it, according to internal emails obtained by The Appeal.
Joshua Vaughn Mar 31, 2020
Lawmakers are recognizing the harms of mass incarceration. But some governors are reluctant to use their clemency power to address them.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Mar 05, 2020
A year after Alfonzo Riley returned from prison, he’s helping to vet innocence claims.
Kira Lerner Feb 06, 2020
Spotlights like this one provide original commentary and analysis on pressing criminal justice issues of the day. You can read them each day in our newsletter, The Daily Appeal. It was no secret that President Trump was planning to run an ad during the Super Bowl this year; the question was only what the particular message […]
Sarah Lustbader Feb 04, 2020
Arizona’s Incarcerated Firefighters Push for Legislation That Recognizes Their Labor By Reducing Their Sentences
Unlike other states, Arizona offers minimal early release credits for the prisoners it sends to fight its wildfires.
Hannah Critchfield Jan 21, 2020
It’s the first time since 2014 that someone on Georgia’s death row has been granted clemency.
Braden Goyette Jan 16, 2020
Sensational headlines may score short-term partisan points, but long term they contribute to a toxic culture of Willie Hortonism.
Adam H. Johnson Dec 20, 2019
Efforts are underway to address life without parole sentences and free people who have been in prison for decades.
Vaidya Gullapalli Nov 18, 2019
The state’s parole board has recommended that Willie Mae Harris, convicted of killing her husband in 1985, be freed five times. Now 72 and completely blind, her fate lies with Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Lauren Gill Nov 18, 2019
In Third Debate, Democratic Presidential Candidates Condemn Mass Incarceration Without Naming Its Main Driver
Candidates offered reforms for people accused of low-level, nonviolent offenses, but more than half of U.S. prisoners have committed a violent crime.
Aaron Morrison Sep 13, 2019
Thousands Are Serving Life Without Parole Sentences in Pennsylvania. A Board Of Pardons Hearing Might Begin To Change That.
People seeking commutations from life sentences encounter a steep hurdle in the state’s board of pardons. The board will convene on Sept. 13 to review more than 20 cases.
Joshua Vaughn Sep 11, 2019
Gloria Williams was in her 20s when she was sent to prison for her part in a robbery that turned deadly. After serving nearly five decades, including one decade in solitary confinement, Williams now has a chance at freedom.
Victoria Law Aug 06, 2019
When it comes to criminal justice, advocates say, Attorney General Josh Shapiro seems intent on maintaining the status quo.
Joshua Vaughn Aug 02, 2019
Josie and Clint talk to NYU law professor Rachel Barkow about presidential pardon powers.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam just granted clemency to Brown, who was forced to trade sex for money, but Ohio’s governor declined this week to do the same for Martin.
Melissa Gira Grant Jan 11, 2019
But more than 1,100 others are still serving sentences that voters decided were too harsh.
Kira Lerner Dec 19, 2018
Jacqueline Smalls was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a boyfriend whose ‘hands were his weapons.’ She now joins the ranks of criminalized survivors seeking clemency from Governor Cuomo.
Victoria Law Sep 05, 2018