CAN-DO backs clemency for Jimmy Romans

By Bob PepalisMay 11, 2020

James Romans has spent nine years in prison working to better himself, including the completion of a 15-month dental assistant apprenticeship.

He’s seeking clemency from President Trump for a 30-year reduced sentence on a conspiracy to distribute marijuana conviction in 2013. His original sentence was life without parole.

“Jimmy’s original sentence was life for marijuana. Outrageous,” Lisa Jacobi, administrative assistant of the CAN-DO Clemency Foundation, told Hoosier State Today. “Thankfully, in 2017, his life sentence was reduced to 30 years, but still too long for marijuana. It’s not right. How can someone receive a life sentence, or even three years for that matter, for marijuana? It’s laughable.”

Jacobi said Romans comes from a close-knit family who love and support him. He cares for his parents, who are in the 70s, and he’s close to his only sibling, a sister. The Indiana native has a daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. He also has a 14-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son.

Romans said his family is the most important thing in his life and he’s ready to get home.

“My parents are in their 70s now and I can only pray that I get home soon to be a part of the rest of the years they have left,” he told the CAN-DO Foundation. “I have not had any contact with my two youngest children for over nine years and am so ready to let them know how much their daddy loves and has missed them.”

Supporters of clemency for Romans include Jacobi, Amy Povah, founder of the CAN-DO Clemency Foundation, Seattle Hempfest, Norml, Life for Pot, Freedom Grow, family and friends.

“He is a good kind man, who cares about people and shows it,” Jacobi said. “His prison record has zero write ups; he is a model inmate. He is the nicest and kindest man, and risk and public safety don’t come into play when discussing Jimmy Romans.”

Jacobi said Romans has taken numerous rehabilitative programs and self-help courses. He said many job opportunities await him. He plans to hit the ground running to provide a stable home for his parents and 92-year-old grandmother.

Romans said in his clemency application that he has employment

opportunities in landscaping, real estate and construction. And he was certified by the U.S. Labor Board to be a dental assistant and certified in tool/instrument sterilization.

“Clemency, to me would be a chance for me to prove to my family that I have changed my life and my outlook on the future. I would be able to get a well-deserved chance to make my life what it should’ve been in the first place,” Romans told the CAN-Do Foundation. “I just want to be the father, son, brother, that the Lord wants me to be. I am not the man I used to be and if President Trump grants me clemency, I would be able to show my family who James really is.”

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