Two Squire Patton Boggs pro bono clients in Ohio were successful in winning the commutation of their life sentences as part of the White House’s national clemency initiative.
In 2014, President Obama and the United States Department of Justice announced a program that would consider granting clemency to inmates – mostly low-level drug offenders – who were serving longer sentences than they would be given today if convicted of the same crime. An offender is eligible if they are non-violent, without a significant criminal history and had already served at least 10 years of their sentence. Nationally, over 10,000 petitions were submitted to the Department of Justice as part of the initiative.
In November 1995, Ervin Darnell Worthy was sentenced at the age of 30 to a mandatory life sentence for a nonviolent drug crime involving drug distribution and possession of a firearm. If sentenced today, his offense would not require a mandatory life sentence, but would likely result in a sentence of 151 to 188 months of imprisonment. With the assistance of a team from Squire Patton Boggs, Mr. Worthy – now 50 years old after serving 245 months in prison – has been granted clemency from his life sentence, which will now expire on August 3, 2017. The team representing Mr. Worthy was led by Max Czernin and included Dante Marinucci, Kathleen Doyle and Amy Gilbert.
Derrick Glass was sentenced in 2007 to 240 months of imprisonment and ten years of supervised release for a nonviolent drug crime involving drug distribution and possession of a firearm. He too has been granted clemency from his life sentence, which will now expire on December 1, 2016. Squire Patton Boggs’ Cynthia Mog led the team that consisted of Austin McGuan, Marques Richeson and LaNesha Johnson.
Squire Patton Boggs principal Bruce Khula coordinated and supervised the Clemency Project for the firm’s Cleveland office.
“We are delighted to have contributed to giving both Mr. Worthy and Mr. Glass a second chance and rewarded by the notion that our pro bono efforts can have a real impact people’s lives.” said Squire Patton Boggs Chairman and Global CEO Mark Ruehlmann.