CAN-DO in the News

CAN-DO in the News

Clemency recipient Chalana McFarland and her daughter Nia on PBS - Watch this extremely poignant segment on PBS entitled Mothers leaving prison encounter uphill battle as they try reconnecting with family that focuses on the reunification of Chalana McFarland and her daughter Nia, who were severed due to harsh mandatory sentences back in 2005. Fifteen years later…they beat the odds and celebrated the miracle of clemency […]
PBS special about Charles “Duke” Tanner’s clemency miracle! - The ability to pardon criminals is a unique power of a president, one that can be politically motivated and often draws criticism. But as Reveal’s Michael Schiller explains, pardons can also change lives. The CAN-DO Foundation advocated on behalf of Duke Tanner for years, including a previous segment by Reveal’s Michael Schiller that aired on […]
New York Post quotes several CAN-DO clemency candidates in annual Turkey pardon article by Steven Nelson - Trump will “pardon” gobblers named Corn and Cobin an annual tradition at the White House on Tuesday, but in a potential twist, allies and reform advocates are anticipating more serious reprieves in the coming weeks. “President Trump has moved mountains since taking office and I’m certain he’s not done yet,” said Amy Povah, a clemency advocate […]
Angela Wright has served over a decade and needs clemency - By Joe ChenApr 3, 2020 Angela Wright, 43, has served approximately 13 years of a 30-year sentence for convictions of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute. Criminal justice advocates say she is a deserving candidate for clemency. “My son, Brad, is my number one priority,” Wright told the CAN-DO Foundation. “I want to make up […]
Vietnam Vet Michael Montalvo deserves clemency - By April BamburgApr 4, 2020 Michael Montalvo is a Vietnam veteran, father of two, and grandfather of three. CAN-DO Foundation, a criminal justice reform advocacy group, says he deserves clemency from President Trump. The 73-year-old has served 32 years of a life sentence without parole for the non-violent crime of a continuing criminal enterprise between 1983 […]
Rufus Rochelle deserves clemency per CAN-DO - By April BamburgApr 3, 2020 The CAN-DO Foundation supports Rufus Rochell in his bid for clemency. He was sentenced to 40 years and 8 months on charges of a conspiracy with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack, and possession with intent of the same amount. Rochell, 68, has served 31 years 8 months […]
CAN-DO back 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 […]
CAN-DO Foundation supports Pelletier as clemency candidate - By April Bamburg Apr 2, 2020 After President Trump commuted the sentences of multiple inmates in February, advocates are working to raise awareness of the cases of other inmates who are deserving of clemency. One of these is Michael Pelletier, 63, sentenced to life in prison in 2006 on charges of conspiracy to import marijuana, conspiracy […]
CAN-DO supports Diana Marquez’s clemency - By Juliette FairleyApr 18, 2020 When Diana Marquez was sentenced to prison for money laundering and conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana, she was the young mother of five children and the allegedly abused wife of a man involved in the drug trade. Today, she’s 63 years old and has 16 grandchildren. At her husband Mario’s […]
CAN-DO supports clemency for LaShonda Hall - When President Trump granted clemency to nearly a dozen people in February, this included Crystal Munoz, 40, who spent 12 years in prison after being convicted on marijuana charges. Now supporters of LaShonda Hall are hoping the president will do the same for Hall. Hall, 45, is a first-time non-violent offender, who was charged with […]
CAN-DO members Rufus Rochell and Chad Marks in Wall Street Journal re: Covid-19 - Prison and jail officials trying to stem the spread of the new coronavirus behind bars are releasing thousands of prisoners to await trial or serve their sentences at home, spurring a debate over public health versus public safety—and producing some seemingly inconsistent outcomes. Rufus Rochell, 68, who is serving a 35-year sentence for a drug […]
Most vulnerable prison population is in great peril… - Roughly 50,000 inmates at federal prisons meet criteria for release to home confinement based on guidelines in the CARES Act, and the Department of Justice Bureau of Prisons has largely failed to act, according to those who work with the incarcerated. Amy Ralston Povah is a federal inmate-turned-advocate who was granted clemency during the Clinton […]
CAN-DO’s Daniel Brown in Wall Street Journal seeking compassionate release - Daniel Brown has sought his release at least five times during his 14 years behind bars. Now the coronavirus pandemic might offer him his greatest chance at freedom. A federal judge in Iowa, where Mr. Brown was originally convicted on methamphetamine and gun charges, has agreed to reconsider his request for compassionate release—under which inmates […]
Crystal Munoz, Tynice Hall and Judith Negron among clemency recipients by President Trump - Advocates for justice overhaul said Mr. Trump should be praised for his interventions. “Some people are trying to bash Trump for letting people circumvent the process and go directly to the White House,” said Amy Ralston Povah, the founder of the Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders Foundation. “But the system is broken.” While most […]
First Step Act recipient Catherine Toney goes to the White House - Catherine Toney has been profiled on the CAN-DO website for many years. We thought she would get clemency from the Obama administration because she not only met all the criteria of the Clemency Project 2014, she was assigned a CP14 attorney from Duke University who filed her petition, but sadly, she never received a response […]
360 Law focuses on John Bolen’s clemency petition and the backlog of other pending petitions - Because he let two Bahamian men use his boat to smuggle 188 kilograms of cocaine into Florida 13 years ago, John Bolen is going to die in federal prison. In his bid for presidential clemency, the former commercial fisherman cites several contributing factors that led to his fate. Hurricanes ravaged his business, leaving him financially […]
Aaron Sandusky’s medical marijuana nightmare – told by Reason - When Sandusky opened a marijuana dispensary in 2009, medical cannabis had been legal for 13 years in California. But in 2011, the feds carried out a series of federal raids on medical marijuana clinics in California, despite earlier assurances from President Barack Obama and his attorney general that they wouldn’t target operators that were legal […]
REVEAL’s “Pardon Me” featuring Charles “Duke” Tanner and CAN-DO - CAN-DO’s Amy Ralston Povah was interviewed for the “Pardon Me” episode on Reveal and connected the producer with one of our favorite clemency applicants – Charles Tanner. Listen to “Pardon Me” here. We start by meeting Charles “Duke” Tanner, a former boxer who is serving 30 years in federal prison after being convicted of drug […]
Rufus Rochell in Daily Beast by Sam Stein - As he watched CNN from inside the federal correctional complex in Coleman, Florida, Rufus Rochell couldn’t suppress his joy at the news of Conrad Black. His old friend, the media tycoon with whom he shared a dorm years ago, had received a pardon from President Donald Trump. Surely this meant that his time would come soon.  […]
Michael Thompson goes viral thanks to Tana Ganeva’s Intercept article - After Tana Ganeva’s article dropped about Michael “Meeko” Thompson, it has gone viral on twitter, thanks to Shaun King, Ava DuVernay, and many more…an attorney has been assigned to help Meeko file for clemency in the state of Michigan. MICHAEL THOMPSON IS serving a 40- to 60-year sentence in Muskegon Correctional Facility in Michigan. He’s already […]
America’s Voice News covers the First Step Act - America’s Voice News interviewed Amy Ralston Povah, Angela Stanton King and Topeka Sam about the First Step Act and the long road ahead for criminal justice reform. Watch the interview on American Voice News The bill known as the First Step Act would take modest steps to reform the criminal justice system and ease very […]
NBC interviews Robert Shipp’s sister, Veda to discuss the First Step Act - When NBC called CAN-DO seeking names of people who would benefit from the First Step Act, CAN-DO President Amy Ralston Povah had just the right person – Robert Shipp.  NBC wanted to film family members of incarcerated people who would come home soon, if not immediately due to the passing of the First Step Act, […]
Charles “Duke” Tanner in Chicago Tribune - Charles “Duke” Tanner is an extraordinary case of an undefeated boxer from Gary, Indiana.  He’s a first offender serving a 30-year sentence, reduced from LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE.  He is on the CAN-DO Top 25 Men deserving of clemency and is one of several cases we have sent to the White House for President Trump’s consideration. […]
Clemency: The criminal justice reform Trump can achieve without Congress - President Trump unveiled one of his top legislative priorities before Democrats take over the House of Representatives: passage of the First Step Act, which would reduce some prison sentences. Though he still must win a tug-of-war within the Republican Party to get that bill through, he has a Plan B — and he doesn’t need […]
Three CAN-DO members featured in Washington Examiner seeking clemency - CAN-DO was asked to obtain quotes from several of our clemency candidates.  Fortunately, we were able to get quotes from Michael Pelletier, Chad Marks and David Barren for the following article by Steven Nelson for Washington Examiner. When President Trump “pardons” a pair of Thanksgiving turkeys on Tuesday, prisoners will be watching and hoping that […]
CAN-DO’s Amy Ralston Povah quoted on prison reform and clemency in Washington Examiner - CAN-DO members Michael Montalvo and Lavonne Roach quoted in the Washington Examiner…  “Last month, clemency advocates including Amy Povah of CAN-DO Clemency and Alveda King, the anti-abortion evangelical leader, hosted a panel at a Women for Trump event at Trump International Hotel in Washington. Povah hopes that Congress passes the legislation, and that Trump will […]
CAN-DO President Amy Ralston Povah in Episode 1 Podcast: Love vs DEA - Emanuel Sferios (Founder of Dance Safe) and co-host Tatiana Makovkin have kicked off a “risk reduction and benefit enhancement podcast reducing shame and stigma to save lives and end the drug war.” For their first podcast, they interviewed Amy Ralston Povah who refused to “cooperate” and become a working informant for the government despite the […]
Amy Povah in Salon: “Is there hope…” - Back in the late ’80s, a few years into her marriage to her now ex-husband, Povah discovered that he had been involved in an international ecstasy business. He asked her to handle some “financial matters” for him while he was dealing with some legal wrangling. At her trial, there was no evidence she’d sold drugs […]
Yahoo News focuses on 3 CAN-DO clemency candidates - When Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother serving life in prison for drug trafficking, was granted clemency by President Trump on June 6, a phone call went out from the White House counsel’s office — the administration wanted more people like her. On the receiving end was Mark Holden, general counsel and senior vice president […]
CAN-DO in USA Today – Alice Johnson’s Clemency - CAN-DO quoted in USA Today, per Gregory Korte on the freedom of Alice Johnson:  Watch video and read the story here The Can-Do Foundation, which advocates shorter sentences for non-violent drug offenders, put Johnson at the top of its list of federal prisoners most deserving of a presidential commutation. Amy Povah, a former federal inmate […]
Huffpost: “Criminal Justice System’s War on Women” - Clinton-era clemency recipient Amy Ralston Povah is profiled in the following Huffpost article regarding women suffering from overly harsh ‘Department of Justice’ policies: What often goes unreported and frighteningly unnoticed is the war the administration is waging on women through the criminal justice system.  Women are the fastest growing population in prison. More than one […]
Huffpost Op Ed: We Must Reduce Mass Incarceration in the U.S., Not Escalate It - Huffpost contributor, Amy Povah weighs in on Sessions’ directive that will take this nation back to the Dark Ages of the 90s “dumb on crime,” era.  Read the entire Huffpost Op Ed…      
Washington Post, NY Post, NY Daily News, Fox News, Dallas Morning News quotes CAN-DO about Carol Richardson - CAN-DO issued a statement on Friday, June 8th regarding Carol Richardson’s recidivism that was reported widely by the press. Fortunately, we provided some insights that balanced some of tone and tenor of the comments provided by her prosecutor and judge.  Our position is that Carol does not belong in prison.  Her addiction is a medical […]
Huffpost Op Ed on Federal Halfway House Closures - Due to hundreds of emails, letters and phone calls from prisoners panicking due to halfway house closures, CAN-DO conducted a survey and the results were worse than we expected.  Even prisoners who were leaving the very next day have had their halfway house dates pulled.  Many had signed what we believe are binding contracts. To […]
The irony of David Barren’s clemency in Reason… - CAN-DO Vice President Anrica Caldwell worked with C.J. Ciarmella, a reporter for Reason to delve into the ironic nature of her fiancé, David Barren’s clemency: “I’ve been commuted,” he told Caldwell in a flat voice, before pausing to take a deep breath, “to 30 years.” Caldwell says she went cross-eyed for a second. That can’t be […]
Huffpost – Clemency was not wasted on Carol Richardson and here’s why - The CAN-DO Foundation supported Carol Richardson’s clemency.  She was #8 on the CAN-DO Top 25 Women that deserved clemency.  Her relapse is the perfect example why we believe that addiction is a medical issue, not a criminal issue.  There is more to her story than what was reported on by mainstream media that can be […]
Huffpost: Still a man’s world…especially for clemency - Published 01/12/2017 03:39 pm ET | An alarming number of women, including first offenders have been denied clemency even if they fit all the criteria laid out by the Obama admin-istration, such as Lori Kavitz, Melissa Trigg and many more. Only 76 of the 1,176… individuals who received a commuted sentence under Obama are female, […]
Ferrell Scott and Craig Cesal in Washington Post - On the heels of a list of clemency denials released by the Dept of Justice, on November 29, 2016, reporters reached out to CAN-DO seeking information about select individuals that sent shock waves through the prisoner advocacy organizations, such as pot lifers, Ferrell Scott and Craig Cesal who were both vetted and represented by Clemency […]
Reason tackles the conspiracy law using case of CAN-DO President, Amy Povah - CAN-DO President Amy Povah was the focal point of an article in Reason that used her case as an example to emphasize what is wrong with this nation’s conspiracy laws and why there should be more scrutiny and oversight.  Read the whole story.  Reason: by Lauren Krisai |Apr. 29, 2016 10:20 am  
Washington Post – Joy to the lucky and anguish to the disappointed - “It was a great day for those who won the lottery and one more disappointment for everyone in the pipeline who should be on the list,” said Amy Povah, a former inmate and the founder of the CAN-DO Foundation, a clemency advocacy group. Update: Weldon Angelos regained his freedom on 6/3/16. He was released through […]
Life of the Law focuses on “Clemency” - A student at Columbia Journalism school, Shandukani Mulaudzi chose to write about the 2014 Initiative on Executive Clemency for her Masters project.  To learn more, she reached out to Clemency expert, Amy Ralston Povah for insight into the murky world of who does and does not receive clemency.  Several emails and phone calls were exchanged over […]
Amy Povah on Lions of Liberty podcast - Amy Povah was interviewed by John Odermatt for Lions of Liberty’s Felony Friday. She talked about her case, the conspiracy law, clemency and why we need more conspiracy cases scrutinized to understand the fundamental injustices and abuse that people fall pretty to, associated with the plea bargain system in this country.  Listen to the podcast […]
Malik King on Lions of Liberty podcast - Malik King was interviewed by John Odermatt of Lions of Liberty on April 14th for their segment called Felony Friday, about his communications with prisoners and the relationship he has garnered over the years that has made him a legend inside the prison system by so many who rely on his emails and letters to comfort them […]
Podcast of #Cut50’s Jessica Sloan, Brittany Byrd and Amy Povah RE: Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act… - On August 3rd at 8:30 pm ET, Amy Povah, founder of the Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders (CAN-DO) Foundation, Jessica Jackson, #cut50 National Director & Co-Founder, and Brittany K. Barnett, #cut50 Fellow, discussed the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act. Watch the teach–in to learn more about the challenges women face behind bars, the impacts […]
Truthout focuses on Clemencies and the Guardian Angel Program - Victoria Law, a reporter for Truthout.org has written another exceptional article about clemency and interviewed several of the CAN-DO/Crack Open the Door Guardian Angels who are assisting clemency applicants. “I don’t understand the logic of the denials,” said Amy Povah, founder and president of CAN-DO Clemency, a national organization that advocates for clemency for people […]
Anrica Caldwell’s Op Ed in The Influence - Anrica Caldwell knows all too well what it’s like to stress over the clemency lottery each time the list is released by the White House.  She shares her emotions in an Op Ed, relatable to thousands who also have a loved one in federal prison, waiting to learn whether they will be one of the […]
Amy Povah in Reason Magazine on Drug Conspiracy Cases - Amy Povah started CAN-DO to not only promote and spotlight people seeking clemency, she included her desire to educate the public about the conspiracy law in the CAN-DO mission statement.  It hasn’t been easy because reporters typically have never heard about it and/or don’t understand it enough to want to research it thoroughly.  Conspiracy to […]
Revolt TV mini doc on Miquelle West’s quest to free Michelle West - Watch this short documentary by Revolt TV about Miquelle West’s quest to free her mother Michelle West, #2 on the CAN-DO Top 25.                            
CAN-DO in High Times – Where are the women? - On President Obama’s last day in office, he granted another 330 commutations to nonviolent drug offenders, bringing his total number of clemencies to 1,715—more than the last 12 presidents combined. But clemency advocates argue that Obama’s clemency policy consistently overlooked one group: women. “We’re upset he didn’t increase the number of women prisoners, most of […]
Michelle West’s story in Fusion by Casey Tolan - How a woman who’s served 23 years in prison raised her daughter from behind bars by Casey Tolan for Fusion   Please read/share this article on social media and sign Michelle’s Change.org petition. Michelle is #2 on the CAN-DO Top 25.   
CAN-DO Op Ed in San Francisco Chronicle – Thanksgiving pardons - Instead of sleepwalking through the obligatory turkey “pardon” on the White House Lawn this year, I wish President Obama would grant some real pardons — to humans. There is no better gift than hearing that your loved one has been freed from an unjust sentence. I should know.
Clemency Recipients Angie Jenkins, Ramona Brant and Amy Povah in People Magazine - Angie Jenkins, Ramona Brant and Amy Povah are featured in People’s Online Magazine as the REAL WOMEN of Orange is the New Black. Netflix is releasing the new season of Orange is the New Black and People Magazine provides a glimpse into the “real lives” of the characters on OITNB, to wet the appetite of […]
USA Today interviews Jason Hernandez at CAN-DO VIGIL for POWs at the White House - CAN-DO Founder and President, Amy Ralston Povah has had a busy November – first attending the Koch Institute’s Advancing Justice Summit in New Orleans from Nov. 3rd – 8th and more recently attending the Drug Policy Alliance’s conference in Washington DC. Amy never goes to DC without taking posters of the prisoners we advocate for […]
“Weed not a factor” in war on drugs - Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly made headlines for his comments on Sunday’s Meet the Press, when he pronounced that marijuana is “not a factor” in the War on Drugs and that solving the nation’s drug problem does not involve “arresting a lot of users.” Hmm… since when? If memory serves, the U.S. government […]
Amy Ralston Pofahl received clemency on July 7, 2000 in SF Chronicle - When Amy Ralston Povah – then Pofahl, received clemency on July 7, 2000, she had no idea when she woke up that day that a 9 year, 3 month long nightmare was about to end. Neither did the prison staff at FCI Dublin, where she was incarcerated.  So imagine her shock when she was found […]
Lori Kavitz in Washington Post and USA Today - Lori Kavitz, #10 on the CAN-DO Top 25 was featured in the Washington Post on November 29, 2016 CAN-DO pitched the story to Tana Ganeva who was interested in writing about select clemency applicants who had filed for a sentence commutation. The Watch Opinion by Tana Ganeva Lori’s 24 year sentence is based, largely, on her […]
CAN-DO Influenced Three Articles on Conspiracy Laws: Reason, Huffpost and The Kind - 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 […]
Alice Marie Johnson and CAN-DO in Vocativ - Alice Marie Johnson is #1 on the Top 25 Women Who Deserve Clemency Alice Marie Johnson has been in prison for 20 years, serving a life sentence without parole for a non-violent drug crime. The 60-year-old mother was sentenced in 1996 for “attempted possession” of cocaine in Alabama. She claims ten people testified against her […]
CAN-DO in Buzzfeed News - CAN-DO President Amy Povah was interviewed by Buzz Feed and is quoted in the following article, as are two members of the CAN-DO Advisory Board, Dennis Cauchon, founder of  The Clemency Report and Beth Curtis, founder of Life For Pot: Obama’s Potential Clemency Push Can’t Come Soon Enough, Campaigners Say by David Mack Buzzfeed News […]
Huffpost Op Ed on conspiracy law by Amos Irwin - Amos Irwin reached out to CAN-DO for input regarding the conspiracy law for an Op Ed he authored for Huffpost.  He focused heavily on Barbra Scrivner, profiled on the CAN-DO site for years leading up to Barbra Scrivner’s long overdue freedom and justice through clemency.  Exposing the dark side of the conspiracy law and how […]
Mary Ziman in Truthout: The Need for Compassionate Release – TWO PART SERIES - Victoria Law has written yet another compelling piece on the many negative aspects of mass incarceration.  Aging, Sick and Incarcerated: The Need for Compassionate Release   The CAN-DO Foundation provided Truthout with a few cases of women who are seeking a compassionate release, knowing the odds are greatly stacked against them, despite a scathing report […]
CAN-DO Foundation in Waging Nonviolence.org 10/12/2015 - Comprehensive article by Victoria Law in WagingNonviolence.org about Amendment 782. Oct. 12, 2015 On October 6, the Justice Department announced that nearly 6,000 people in federal prisons will be going home early. The move, U.S. officials told the Washington Post, is an effort to both reduce overcrowding and to provide relief to people who received […]
CAN-DO’s Founder, Amy Povah on Ed Kalegi’s America Weekend - On June 22, 2016, Ed Kalegi and Christina Stoffo interviewed CAN-DO President and Founder Amy Povah about her work with the CAN-DO Foundation; the clemency project and our marijuana laws. Click the links below to listen or download the interview.   Right-click Here to Download the Podcast The interview aired on the following stations nationwide: […]
CAN-DO worked with BBC on article about Family Members of Clemency Applicants - BBC reporter Jessica Lussenhop contacted the CAN-DO Foundation seeking insight to worked together for over a year after Jessica contacted CAN0DO seeking a connection to clemency applicants.   Jessica wanted to communicate with several prisoners over the course of many months to determine what it was like to be on a waiting list, hoping to […]
Amy Povah on Mark Thompson’s “The Edge” I-heart radio show - The Edge starts with a 10 minute blast of politics from political analyst and journalist Michael Shure talking with well known news caster and radio personality, Mark Thompson; a daily voice in Los Angeles on the most listened to talk radio station in the country, KFI AM 640 (available on the I heart radio app and […]
CAN-DO in Mother Jones featuring John Knock and Antonio Bascaro: Serving Life for Pot - Obama Just Granted Clemency to a Pot Lifer. But Dozens More Remain Behind Bars. “We have many senior citizens who have already served decades for marijuana-only crimes that are being ignored.” By Bryan Schatz | Wed Jul. 15, 2015 4:40 PM EDT  Go to Mother Jones or read here: Social Title: Obama just granted clemency to a […]
CAN-DO in Mother Jones about Pres. Obama’s clemencies - CAN-DO Founder, Amy Ralston Povah was squirming in her seat during the White House convening on Women in Prison on 3/30/2016 because she had just dropped off her dear friend, Angie Jenkins, who she’d served time with at FCI Dublin during the 90s at the White House gate.  Unbeknownst to both of them, Angie and […]
Justice Denied: Paul Free’s Two-Decade Plus Quest for Freedom - The ruling might as well have said "Justice Denied." Paul Free, serving a sentence of life without parole for a nonviolent marijuana conspiracy offense he says he can prove he did not commit, is used to such outcomes after more than 20 years of incarceration in a maximum-security federal penitentiary. It’s the reason for this particular denial of justice that is so maddening to him this time.
Beth Curtis of “Life For Pot” in IB Times - Beth Curtis shines a spotlight on: These Men Are Serving Life Sentences In Prison For Selling Pot Fifteen years ago, Beth Curtis’ brother, John, was sentenced to die in prison. His crime? Selling weed. In 1994, John Knock was indicted by the Northern District of Florida. Prosecutors alleged that Knock, then 47 years old, conspired […]
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