For Second Chance month, Liz Oyer hosted an event in DC and brought together many former clemency recipients. Three former clemency recipients were asked to share their stories, which included Norman Brown accompanied by his attorney, Danielle Metz accompanied by Kevin Polite, a US Attorney from Louisiana who supported her clemency and Evans Ray Jr accompanied by Judge Alexander Williams Jr who initially refused to give Evans a mandatory LIFE sentence, knowing he would be overturned at the appellate court, but was willing to take a stand against harsh mandatory sentences that prevent judges from being able to apply common sense at sentencing.
Ms. Oyer then recognized former clemency recipients, stating, “We have two very special people here today whose lives where changed by clemency more than 20 years ago. I’d like to ask Amy Ralston Povah and Kemba Smith Pradia to please stand. In 2000, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of Ms. Povah and Ms. Smith who were serving lengthy sentences for drug related offenses. Each of these women have spent the last two decades laying the ground work for other incarcerated women and men to receive second chances. Ms Povah is the director of the CAN-DO Foundation and in 2021 she also received a full pardon. Ms Smith is President of the Kemba Smith Foundation.”
You can watch the Second Chance Celebration event posted on the Office of the Pardon Attorney website.
Ms. Oyer went on to recognize Obama clemency recipients, including Charles Harrison, who owns a trucking company, Jason Hernandez who is a clemency advocate and started a non profit grocery store to assist an underserved community in Texas; Earnest Glover, serves on board of reentry network, Byron McDade, Cornelius Porter, Dexter Tyson. These men are living proof of the power of second chances!
Ms. Oyer then recognized clemency recipients granted by President Trump, including Alice Marie Johnson, Chalana McFarland, and David Safavian.
Gwen Levi was recognized as someone who received a Second Chance through compassionate release and Tony Lewis Sr.
Also in attendance was Christopher Dancy who received clemency from President Biden as a CARES Act recipient.
Amy was inspired by the event and prays there may be some acts of mercy in the form of clemency as we enter the end of April, which is the month designated as Second Chance month.