Subscribe to our newsletters for regular updates, analysis and context straight to your email.
One Year of Worker-Led Media! Fund the Future of The Appeal.
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.
Jan 25, 2022
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.
Nov 02, 2021
Leaving prison often hinges on completing rehabilitative programming. The pandemic caused many of these required courses to be put on hold.
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.
Meg O'Connor, Joshua Vaughn
Mar 12, 2021
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.
Feb 24, 2021
The Board of Pardons unanimously recommended Bruce Norris for a commutation in December, but Tom Wolf had yet to approve it.
Feb 01, 2021
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.
Dec 15, 2020
The report found that spread inside correctional facilities contributed to community spread, particularly in California, Florida and Texas.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, Ethan Corey
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.
Dec 01, 2020
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.
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.
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.
Jun 05, 2020
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.
May 29, 2020
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.
May 20, 2020
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.
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.
May 15, 2020
People are dying in jails and prisons because elected officials hesitated at the worst possible moment.
Apr 09, 2020
They tell Tom Wolf that taking any unilateral actions to reduce the state’s prison population would endanger public safety.
There are no good reasons for the president to keep vulnerable people behind bars any longer.
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.
Lawmakers are recognizing the harms of mass incarceration. But some governors are reluctant to use their clemency power to address them.
Mar 05, 2020
A year after Alfonzo Riley returned from prison, he’s helping to vet innocence claims.
Feb 06, 2020
Feb 04, 2020
Unlike other states, Arizona offers minimal early release credits for the prisoners it sends to fight its wildfires.
Jan 21, 2020
It’s the first time since 2014 that someone on Georgia’s death row has been granted clemency.
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
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.
Candidates offered reforms for people accused of low-level, nonviolent offenses, but more than half of U.S. prisoners have committed a violent crime.
Sep 13, 2019
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.
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.
Aug 06, 2019
When it comes to criminal justice, advocates say, Attorney General Josh Shapiro seems intent on maintaining the status quo.
Aug 02, 2019
Josie and Clint talk to NYU law professor Rachel Barkow about presidential pardon powers.
Josie Duffy Rice, Clint Smith
Mar 06, 2019
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.
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.
Sep 05, 2018
After being released from prison, her only chance is a pardon from the governor.
Aug 14, 2018
Bolus is one of thousands of New Yorkers sentenced to life in prison who are waiting for the governor to keep his clemency promise.
Aug 06, 2018
But after a spree of commutations, the governor recently put down his clemency pen amid tough-on-crime fear mongering.
Jul 09, 2018
New York's Democratic governor has granted only a trickle of commutations, fewer than many of his Democratic and Republican predecessors.
Jun 20, 2018
Kim Kardashian's successful campaign to free a 63-year-old grandmother serving a life sentence in a drug case is a reminder that we need to go big on clemency. A 52-year-old grandfather named Euka Wadlington, also doing life in a drug case, would be a great place to start.
Jun 15, 2018