Three informative articles were published this week that focused on conspiracy laws which has been part of the CAN-DO mission statement. All three articles went live over the course of seven days, as follows:
FIRST ARTICLE in Reason: by Lauren Krisai |Apr. 29, 2016 10:20 am
How Conspiracy Laws Let Prosecutors Abuse Their Power
Any meaningful criminal justice reform must include a reexamination of these draconian policies.
This article starts off with the story of CAN-DO Founder, Amy Povah:
“Amy Povah was just 30 years old when she was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison for a drug crime she didn’t even commit herself. The crime—manufacturing a large amount of ecstasy in both the United States and Germany—was committed by her then-husband, Sandy Pofahl. Her lengthy prison sentence was based on the entire amount of ecstasy Pofahl manufactured, even though five co-defendants provided affidavits stating Amy was not involved in his drug trade.”
SECOND ARTICLE in Huffpost : Amos Irwin 05/03/2016 01:44 pm ET
Chief of Staff at the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation; Training Director at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
The Laws that Betrayed Their Makers: Why Mandatory Minimums Still Exist
Amy Povah asked Amos Irwin to focus on the conspiracy law in one of his brilliant Op Eds and he willingly agreed. Over the course of several months, Amy and Amos bounced information back and forth about our nations shamefully abusive conspiracy law. He focused heavily on Barbra Scrivner who has been profiled on the CAN-DO site for years leading up to Barbra Scrivner’s long overdue freedom and justice through clemency.
Excerpt: “Why did the jury convict Barbra [Scrivner] of crimes she did not commit? When Barbra refused to cooperate, Dealy-Browning did not want to back out of her threat to send Barbra to prison for decades, because that would damage her credibility. So she did everything she could to convict her, including offering other offenders deals to testify against her. At Barbra’s trial, low-level drug dealers whom she had never met took the stand and testified that she had sold them drugs.”
THIRD ARTICLE in The Kind: Aimee Kuvadia 05/05/2016
Los Angeles-based journalist. Music fanatic.
420 POWS: HOW CONSPIRACY LAWS PUT POT PEOPLE IN PRISON FOR LIFE
CAN-DO provided Aimee Kuvadia with the names of Craig Cesal, Patricia Albright and Michael Pelletier as potential subjects for her to focus on. Craig Cesal is the anchor story and both Patricia and Michael are referenced therein.
“The conspiracy statute is the most evil tool in the Department of Justice toolbox,” says Amy Povah, a former drug inmate who was granted clemency by President Bill Clinton and now runs the nonprofit CAN-DO, an acronym for “Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders.”
She continues: “The reason we have one drug bust after another gone wrong is because they will go on the word of a person who’s tweaking on meth. We need to get back to legislation that nobody can be convicted on testimony alone.”