Mandy Martinson – 15 Years – Received Clemency 12/16/16

Congratulations to Mandy Martinson who received clemency from a 15 year sentence!


Mandy Martinson
Age: 37
Charge: Conspiracy to Distribute Meth
Priors: First Offense
Sentence: 15 years
Served: 12 years
Sentenced: 2005
Release Date: 10/21/2017 – due for release to half-way house in January 2017
Prison Conduct: Exemplary – Role Model Inmate
Accomplishments: Teaches a course in The Purpose Driven Life; Horticulture; Works at UNICOR; Heavy Equipment Operator;
Institution: Waseca, Camp
Clemency status: GRANTED on 12/16/2016

Since her conviction, Mandy has successfully completed numerous additional treatment courses and remained drug free. She has been certified to operate heavy equipment, is taking a horticulture class, and is teaching a course on The Purpose Driven Life. Mandy was selected to be a companion to prisoners on suicide watch. “It is very frustrating to think I may have so many years left in prison,” says Mandy. “I am making the most of my time here, though. I know change is coming. There are just way too many people like me incarcerated for way too long.”
NBC news covers Mandy’s clemency: 

Erin Fuchs wrote about Mandy’s case on Sept. 13, 2013, for Business Insider, entitled:
The Gut-Wrenching Story Of An Addict Who Got Clean, Got A Job, And Then Got 15 Years In Prison

Details about Mandy’s case: 

Like so many women, Mandy had a productive life and was a responsible citizen until she experienced

Mandy went to prison at age 28

Mandy went to prison at age 28

trauma in the form of domestic violence. Although Mandy admits she had used marijuana and meth occasionally at parties, in August of 2003 Mandy started dating and moved in with a man who sold and had access to her drug of choice – Meth.  She started using heavily every day and slid into what she describes as a “self-destructive rampage” after getting out of a relationship with boyfriend who physically abused her.  Her self-medicating to avoid stress turned into a proverbial ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’ scenario because she didn’t care that her new boyfriend sold drugs and in fact, that was the magnet that drew her to him. He was kind, nice and fed her habit, so they quickly moved in together.  Though Mandy says she never sold drugs or carried a gun, she admits that she traveled with her boyfriend when he went to pick up marijuana and one-pound quantities of meth from his supplier.  She also helped him count and bundle money from the drug transaction.  Unbeknownst to Mandy, her new boyfriend fell under investigation by the North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force in October 2003.  On January 14, 2004, police searched Mandy and her boyfriend’s home.  Both of them were in the basement where police found a duffle bag that belonged to Mandy’s boyfriend that contained 10 pun-pound packages of marijuana and two one-pound packages of methamphetamine “ice.” Based on her association with her boyfriend, Mandy was arrested when cops searched their house and found Meth, marijuana and two handguns.

Prior to trial, Mandy was released on her own recognizance and sought drug treatment.  She eventually got her previous job back as a dental hygienist. Although Mandy achieved sobriety it did not help her at sentencing even though the Judge was sympathetic and made the following statements at Mandy’s sentencing:

“Ms. Martinson’s involvement in this offense became somewhat extensive, but the evidence demonstrated that [Mandy] was involved due to her drug dependency and her relationship with [her boyfriend] and that she was largely subject to his direction and control… Even Ms. Martinson’s possession of the firearm was at the direction of [her boyfriend] and was facilitated by [her boyfriend]. By accepting responsibility and cooperating with the government, the apparent leader of this matter, [Mandy’s boyfriend], has ultimately received a sentence of 90 months on the conspiracy and 60 months consecutive on the gun charge for a total of 150 months in custody. Under any possible sentence that the law would allow for Ms. Martinson, the sentence will exceed that of [her boyfriend]. Ms. Martinson’s involvement is closer to that of [one of her co-defendants] … who received a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months. Upon obtaining reasonable drug treatment and counseling and in the wake of what she is facing now, the Court does not have any particular concern that Ms. Martinson will commit crimes in the future.”

Nonetheless, the judge was forced to give Mandy a mandatory minimum of 10 years for the conspiracy and possession charges, and a mandatory five-year consecutive term for the gun charge, for a total sentence of 15 years behind bars.

Personal Background:

Mandy and her family. Sadly, Mandy's mother (to Mandy's upper left) passed away due to bone cancer on August 3, 2014

Mandy’s family. Sadly, Mandy’s mother (Mandy’s upper left) passed away due to bone cancer on August 3, 2014

Mandy grew up in a happy home in Mason City, Iowa. She graduated from high school on the honor roll, then went on to college, made the Dean’s list several times, and graduated. She had a steady work history and became a licensed dental hygienist after college.  Since her conviction, Many has successfully completed numerous additional drug treatment courses and remained drug free. Mandy misses her family immensely and yearns to be reunited with them so the healing can begin and so they can start creating memories together, where she is part of the family, once again.

Scroll to top