By Chad Thevenot, Coordinator for the Coalition for Jubilee Clemency
Thank you for support of the Coalition for Jubilee Clemency's (CJC) campaign asking President Clinton to grant clemency (i.e., commutation of sentence) to low-level, nonviolent federal drug offenders. The campaign was an important part of a larger, national campaign for such clemencies. As many of you already know, on January 20, 2001, his last day in office, President Clinton commuted the sentences of 36 individuals, including 21 drug war prisoners. A list of the January 20th commutations is online at www.usdoj.gov/opa/commutationspaocht.htm.
on December 22, 2000, President Clinton granted clemency to Kemba
Smith and Dorothy Gaines, two women serving extremely long sentences
in federal prison for low-level, nonviolent drug convictions.
The Coalition for Jubilee Clemency featured Dorothy's case in
its campaign. Dorothy is now at home with her three children,
and very challenged to make a successful transition to a new
and hopeful life in the community.
The Coalition for Jubilee Clemency was supported
by the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (CJPF), a Washington,
D.C.-based nonprofit organization that informs and educates the
public about important criminal justice reforms. For information
about CJPF, please visit www.cjpf.org.
Finally, the steering committee of the Coalition
for Jubilee Clemency will meet in February to discuss how to
shape a clemency campaign aimed at President Bush. We welcome
your ideas and suggestions.