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 and 1986.

The CAN-DO Foundation supports Montalvo’s bid for clemency in light of President Trump’s February 2020 pardons to multiple convicted citizens. CAN-DO says he deserves clemency because his crime was not violent, and changes to sentencing laws mean if he were convicted today, Montalvo would likely receive a substantially lower sentence. Also, he has no ties to any large-scale criminal organization.

According to his clemency application, Montalvo’s co-defendants received sentences of 10, 15, and 18 years, and have been freed from prison.   

In July 2014, David Debold and Sarah E. Erickson-Muschko filed clemency petitions for Montalvo, updating his file in December 2015. Since his incarceration, Montalvo has completed 70 Bureau of Prisons programs, obtained a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and law degree. He has been a model prisoner and has worked in the law library, helping others file motions, CAN-DO says.

Montalvo says that he regrets what his actions have done to his family. He says that he has tried to better himself and learn while in prison so in order to help other prisoners become responsible, contributing members of society when released.

“Redemption is a word that defines those of us who desperately want a second chance in life to redeem our errors. I reconnected with my faith while in prison, and for 32 1/2 years, I have tired to show our Lord, my family and society through my daily conduct that I sought redemption, that I learned from my past mistakes and that I am capable of contributing something of value to society,” said Montalvo as part of his clemency petition.

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