Clemency Initiative

The Clemency Project 2014 launched after Deputy Attorney General James Cole asked the legal profession to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received a shorter sentence had they not been sentenced during an era of inflexible mandatory minimums.  The Clemency Project seeks to systematically reduce sentences handed down for nonviolent drug crimes, using President Barack Obama’s clemency power.

The New York Law School Racial Justice Project is working with the Clemency Project 2014 – a working group composed of lawyers and advocates including the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as individuals active within those organizations – to help the Justice Department identify federal prisoners who, if sentenced today under current sentencing laws and policies, would likely have received substantially lower sentences.  Students working with the Racial Justice Project will file clemency petitions on behalf of federal prisoners convicted of nonviolent drug crimes seeking to have their sentences reduced.  For more information on the Clemency Project 2014, visit the Volunteers page of the Clemency Project 2014 website.