Blog Article 

 Executive Clemency and Commutation of Sentence or Pardon 

Picture of Michael Santos

Michael Santos

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What thoughts have you given to executive clemency?

If you’ve been convicted of a crime or you have a loved one who is serving time, or you’ve already served your sentence and you’re out, perhaps you should be thinking about executive clemency during this really important climate.

My name is Michael Santos, I’m with Prison Professors. You probably know my two partners, Justin Paperny who leads our consulting division, and Shon Hopwood who works on policy reform and criminal justice reform on many angles. He’s also a professor of law at Georgetown Law School. We’ve got depth and breadth of experience that should be of use to anybody who’s going through the system.

Presidency and Incarceration

My personal experience is I was incarcerated for 26 years and I prepared numerous executive clemency petitions. And I know the challenges that are associated with them. But I also know the challenges of not taking action, and getting a petition in front of the President at the soonest possible time.

As I said, I was incarcerated back in 1987, went through several Presidents. I regret deeply that I did not have an application for consideration at the end of President Clinton’s term, when he released scores of people and pardoned or commuted a lot of sentences. At the same time, when President Obama was at the other end of his term, at the very end of his term, he also took action on granting commutations and pardons to a lot of people.

The difference between those Presidents, and President Trump, is that President Trump is really taking action right now at the earliest stages. For those of you who don’t know, recently commuted the sentence of a woman who was serving a life term for a drug offense, and my partner Shon Hopwood, is advocating as an attorney for an individual that was just brought into the system totally unjustly. But that’s another matter.

Take Action for the Possibility of Clemency!

This is really about you and what you are doing to take action during these historic times. When the President is kind of overriding the pardon attorney’s office, and instead focusing on individuals who have a strong advocacy group behind them. If you don’t have any money you can do this on your own. If you do have some money you may consider hiring a law firm or a guy to help you.

The important thing is that you recognize these are history times, and you should be taking action to advance your possibilities for clemency. Whether it is a pardon if you’ve already served your sentence, or whether it is a commutation- if you’re going into the prison system and you believe that you are a worth candidate for mercy.

I really encourage you to take action. If you want to learn more about that I encourage you to visit our website at, where we offer some free content on commutations. You could reach out to my partner, Justin, who could speak with you a little bit and provide some guidance perhaps on steps that you can take. Or you may even consider hiring a lawyer if you have the funds available to do so.

What you can’t do is just not participate in this pursuit of justice, if justice should bring an executive clemency grant to you. I really encourage you to take action, because this is a President that is kind of bypassing the pardon attorney and making decisions on his own. If you want to learn more visit, or reach out to my partner Justin Paperny. His contact information is on the banner below.

I really encourage you not to go to sleep at this time. But instead recognize if you don’t have a petition in place you’re not going to get any relief. But if you do, maybe you’ve got a shot. Wishing you the best. I’m Michael with, and hope that you find some value in this message. Best.

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