October 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — After commuting the sentences of 102 prisoners on October 6, President Obama today brought the month’s total thus far to 200 by commuting the sentences of 98 more prisoners. Of today’s 98 grants, more than 60 were in cases supported by Clemency Project 2014. That brings the total number of commutations granted by President Obama to date to 872, of which more than 410 were supported by Clemency Project 2014.         

“We are happy that families are being reunited as a result of the president's work in correcting long sentences,” said Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014. “We were heartened by Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates’ statement earlier this week that there will be ‘many more to come,’ and hope that the pace will accelerate in the coming weeks.”

Among the prisoners who received commutations was Ignatizo Guilano, age 81, who has been serving life without parole for a nonviolent drug offense since 1991. The American Civil Liberties Union featured Guiliano in the report “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses.”

“I am an old man now. I made mistakes in my life, but I am not a threat to society, and I begrudge no one,” said Guiliano in an interview for the 2013 report. “All I am asking is to be afforded the dignity to spend the last few years of my life with my family, and to die outside of prison.”

When he was sentenced to life without parole for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, Guiliano left behind a son and daughter as well as his parents and two sisters. Both of his parents have died while he has been in prison.

A prison official described Guiliano as a “model mentor for younger inmates on the importance of living an honorable life.”

Clemency Project 2014, an unprecedented, wholly independent effort by the nation's bar, has recruited and trained nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse practice backgrounds and completed screening of over 34,000 of the more than 36,000 federal prisoners who have requested volunteer assistance. The Project's painstaking review of these cases revealed that the overwhelming majority of those requests were by applicants who did not meet the criteria put forward by the Department of Justice in April 2014. To date, Clemency Project 2014 has submitted more than 2,150 petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

For “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses,” visit:
https://www.aclu.org/report/living-death-life-without-parole-nonviolent-offenses

For more information about Clemency Project 2014, visit:
www.clemencyproject2014.org

For more information about the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project, visit:
https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform

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