At the close of Clemency Project 2014, Kilpatrick Townsend ranked fourth out of 77 large law firms, with 14 out of 26 petitions granted — more than a 50 percent success rate. Under the project, the White House could reduce harsh federal sentences for mostly nonviolent drug offenders, who have served at least 10 years of their sentences, using current, more lenient guidelines. In total, the President Obama granted 1,715 commutations, 894 of which were supported by Clemency Project 2014.
Through Clemency Project 2014 — a working group composed of attorneys 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 — approximately 60 Kilpatrick Townsend attorneys volunteered 4,700 hours to determine inmate eligibility; analyze and review documents; consult with clients; and complete and file clemency petitions over the past two and a half years. Ultimately, the firm represented 52 clients and filed 26 petitions after multiple reviews. Of these, we obtained clemency for 14 inmates, mostly serving life sentences, with six clients already released.
According to Pro Bono Partner Tamara Serwer Caldas, “The impact of Clemency Project 2014 on both our clients and our attorneys is beyond measure. For our 14 clients who received clemency, they now have a second chance at life — with families ready to welcome them home and help them transition back into society. For our attorneys, one partner told me that his call to his incarcerated client was the single best client phone call of his career. Another had to fight back the tears when describing how it felt to receive the White House’s decision and then immediately inform the client that he would be home by Christmas.”
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Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.