Last Prisoner Project (LPP) has launched a new initiative to provide President Joe Biden’s Administration with a comprehensive plan to safely and efficiently grant much-needed relief to the tens of thousands of individuals convicted for federal marijuana-related violations.
“In recent years, President Biden has indicated his desire to make amends for the draconian drug policies he championed earlier in his career. As President, he now has the authority to provide desperately-needed relief for tens of thousands of people whose lives have been upended by this devastating drug war doctrine,” Natalie Papillion, LPP’s director of strategic initiatives, told Benzinga.
This federal clemency campaign is dubbed “A Time to Heal.”
“We’re calling on the President to use his clemency power to ensure release and record relief for the tens of thousands burdened by federal cannabis-related convictions,” she added.
Over the past year, LPP has had the opportunity to work with federal officials, both inside and outside of the Department of Justice, to advocate on behalf of constituents serving draconian and disproportionate federal cannabis-related sentences.
The organization’s efforts helped secure the release of several federal prisoners, including Corvain Cooper, John Knock, and Way Quoe Long.
These efforts have also served to highlight the inequities, inefficiencies and systemic shortcomings of executive clemency power, which has fallen into disuse over the past few decades.
In light of the exponential growth of the federal prison population, LPP and partners like The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), feel that the federal clemency authority needs to be reinvigorated urgently. The organization hopes to see this re-imagination commence with President Biden issuing clemency grants, Papillion concluded.