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 Freed from 213 Year Prison Term 

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Michael Santos

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Could you maintain hope with a 213-year prison term? Learn the strategies that worked for Adam Clausen. Those strategies led to a compassionate release.

Recently, Adam and Ro Clausen, of Strong Prison Wives and Families, learned that a federal judge freed Adam from a 213-year prison term. While serving 20 years in prison, Adam maintained hope. Together with Ro, he worked hard to live a life of meaning and fulfillment. This video tells the story.

Get the inspiring story from Adam and Ro Clausen

I first met Adam Clausen through our former partner, Shon Hopwood. Shon has a fascinating story of redemption. While serving a 10-year sentence for armed bank robbery, Shon studied the law. After completing his case, he became a lawyer. Now he is a professor of law at Georgetown law school, a policy advisor to the White House, and also a principal in the Hopwood Synghal law firm, of Washington, DC.

Shon agreed to represent Adam on a motion for compassionate release. Thanks to the First Step Act, legislation that Shon was instrumental in crafting, federal judges now have the discretion to revisit a case. In the past, after a judge sentenced a person, limited opportunities opened for a judge to reevaluate a person’s sentence. It could happen through a habeas corpus petition, or on motion of the government.

With the First Step Act, defendants now can proceed through administrative remedy and then file for compassionate release in federal court. That’s a big deal. It is the reason that a federal judge freedom Adam Clausen from a 213-year prison term.

Adam received the lengthy sentence because of mandatory sentencing laws. The crime itself only warranted an eight-year sentence. Yet since he had been a previously convicted felon, and since there were firearms present, the law required the judge to impose a series of consecutive sentences.

Despite the lengthy sentence, Adam Clausen reveals an inspiring adjustment strategy. He built an exceptionally strong relationship with Ro. As a result of his positive attitude, she because his biggest advocate and worked relentlessly to become a source of support for other people who have loved ones in prison. Ro built a social media following that includes more than 100,000 dedicated members.

Through advocacy, the team succeeded in getting Shon to represent Adam. Notice that it was a team effort. If Adam had built a positive mindset while he served his sentence, it’s unlikely that Ro would have had the strength to stand beside him. Since the two of them worked closely together as a team, they continued to grow together. Their story made an impression on Shon, and he agreed to become a member of the team. Together, the team built a persuasive case. When President Trump signed the First Step Act, judges had discretion to reconsider whether a person was worthy of compassionate release.

As a result of the team working closely together, the judge freed Adam from a 213-year prison term. We encourage you to watch the video to learn more.

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