When Amy Ralston Povah was escorted across the compound at FCI Dublin, after President Clinton granted her clemency, she told the women she would never forget them. Fifteen years later, Amy is still fighting to garner attention for the women who have been locked up for decades and need relief. Many of the women on the CAN-DO site are people Amy served time with and will advocate for until they are free.
Two days after Fusion published Amy’s Op Ed, Vikki Law’s article entitled Mothers Serving Long-Term Drug Sentences Call for Clemency was the lead story on Truthout.org about four of the women the CAN-DO Foundation is assisting in their desperate attempt to be one of the very lucky few who will find their way home to their children and family – and the right to sleep in their own bed, and cook whatever they’d like to eat. These every day basic rights we all take for granted have been robbed from otherwise good American citizens who are victims of a “tough on crime” era that many recognize was a mistake, and yet few are willing to correct. Oscar nominated David France wrote about my story for Glamour magazine in the late 90s – it was the first time a journalist explained the flawed conspiracy law in a major publication and how it was targeting wives and girlfriends of drug dealers and holding them equally culpable to the actions of the kingpin – who can often go scot-free for “cooperating.” Legislation was introduced to minimize the amount of time ancillary women in drug conspiracy cases would receive but it was never passed and ultimately forgotten. So many people assume that the women are equally guilty and should not be given favoritism. There are many cases where the woman was the minor participant and she is the ONLY one still serving time. In my own case – I collected bail money and I ended up with more time (I think) than anyone in the entire nation has ever received for ecstasy. Sammy the Bull admitted to 19 murders, received immunity for testimony against Gotti, but was later arrested for running a large ecstasy ring while on probation – and he only got 20 years – vs my 24 years – as a non-violent first offender. Why can’t these insane conspiracy laws and mandatory minimums be given TOP PRIORITY and changed so we can begin the healing process. What is the new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch prepared to do to end MASS INCARCERATION IN THE US? What are our new presidential candidates prepared to do? I’m not hearing that question in the media, or among our current leaders or this administration?
On Sept 15th, pardon expert, Professor Douglas Berman shared Amy’s Op Ed on his Sentencing Law and Policy blog that is closely monitored by every pardon aficionado in the nation.
Long-time American Democratic campaign worker and consultant, Joe Trippi tweeted Amy’s Op Ed, as did Director of DPA, Ethan Nadelman, among many others. Let’s keep up the momentum and get these women out of prison – Together, we CAN-DO this!!!
Read the entire Op Ed here:
Related article by Casey Tolan entitled: Why Hasn’t Obama Pardoned More People