Mary Ritcherson – After 30 YEARS – FREE AT LAST!

Formerly #11 on CAN-DO’s Top 25 List of Women Who Deserve Clemency 

mary_ritcherson_clemency_lgCONGRATULATIONS TO MARY – who walked out of prison on June 23rd after serving all of a very harsh 30-year sentence. Mary was given a bus ticket and arrived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she is now staying in a half-way house. “We’ve talked three times, now,” said Amy Povah, founder of CAN-DO. Once while she was on the road and twice since she’s arrived at the half-way house. “They say she can’t have a cell phone yet, but other inmates at other half-way houses have been allowed to have cell phones right away. It’s frustrating, but she’s on her way to a free life that will present challenges and many rewards.”

Mary and Amy met while serving time at FCI Dublin and have been close friends for over 22 years. After Amy was surprised by her case manager on July 7, 2000 and told she was “going home,” the first person Amy ran to was Mary. In fact, Amy walked out of the case manager’s office and screamed, “YAHOOOO” at the top of her lungs causing inmates to come to their doors to see what was going on . “I wanted the whole prison to hear what happiness felt like, while living in hell,” said Amy. “We never got any good news in prison – always more bad news and this was a once in a life time chance for me to scream and shout without getting into trouble! Next, I screamed, ‘MARY, I’m going home,’ cause I knew she was in her cell on the second tier and would hear me.” After Amy got out, she helped Mary file a clemency petition but Mary was overlooked by the stingy Pardon Office under then-Pardon Attorney Roger Adams.  “It’s been such a long journey for Mary,” said Amy, “and I’m relieved she has finally made it across that threshold. There is never any guarantee that people will walk out of prison after serving 30 years – which used to be a life sentence under the old parole board.  I look forward to the day we can sit and break bread together and hopefully, even laugh about some of the things we endured.”

For more info, visit Mary’s Profile Page.

Amy holding a photo of Mary Ritcherson at the White House - 2014

Amy holding a photo of Mary Ritcherson at the White House – 2014

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