|The first week of September saw the first ever virtual hearings of the Board of Pardons. The hearings took place on zoom with hearing participants sent a special link. The public was able to watch a live stream of the zoom on the BOP website. A schedule was sent out weeks before listing over 200 cases to be heard, most of them pardons. The pardons cases are all people who are not in prison.|
There were technical problems throughout the process resulting in the postponement of many of the pardon cases. It was a relief that the board chose to continue with the commutation cases.
Henrietta Harris, Avis Lee, Mildred Strickland, Gregory Stover, Francisco Mojica, Reid Evans, Wyatt Evans, Daniel Cummings and Kevin Butler were all recommended to the Governor.
Dennis Horton, Lee Horton and Eric Eisen were held under advisement. (They do this when the board has unanswered questions that would impact their decision.)
Edwin Dejesus, Harry Jeffries, Richard Marra, Michael Rinaldi, Felix Rosado, David Sloughenhoupt, Joseph Spinks and James Strapple were denied.
Here are some stats for the 22 that were up for commutation from our beloved data diva Elaine Selan:
Prisons: Phoenix 7 Chester 6 Benner 1 Dallas 2 Albion 1 Muncy 1
Cambridge Springs 2 Mahanoy 1 Somerset 1
1st Degree = 7 * 2nd Degree = 11 * Robbery = 1 * Murder = 2
21 with LWOP * 1 longtimer
AGE – Avg. 55 Oldest = 83 Youngest=43
RACE – B=10 H=3 W=9
YEARS SERVED – Avg= 37.1 Longest=41 Shortest=24
COUNTY Phila – 11 Allegheny – 2 Berks – 1 Bucks – 1 Delaware – 1 Lancaster – 1 Mercer – 1 Westmoreland – 1
Recommended 9 1st D- 2/2nd D-6/Robbery -1
Not Recommend 8 1st D-1/2nd D-7
Under Advisement 3 2nd D-3
Case Not Heard 1 Murder
Continued 1 Murder
Not Continued 0
Board Members Vote Tally:
Grayson (Victim Advocate) – Y=10 N=8
Gubernick (Criminal Justice ‘Expert’) Y=10 N=8
Williams (Psychiatrist) Y=10 N=8
Shapiro (Attorney General) Y=11 N=7
Fetterman (Lt. Governor) Y=12 N=6
We uploaded some of the hearings on our youtube channel:
Felix Rosado’s Hearing – with surprising testimony from Jennifer Storm head of the Office of the Victims Advocate.
Henrietta Harris and Mike Rinaldi – these videos clip the beginning of Henrietta’s and the end of Mike’s You can still get the feel.
Avis Lee’s Hearing – After all of the anticipation the hearing lasted about 3 minutes.
The next Merit Review is scheduled for November 5th at 3pm.
The next Public Hearings are scheduled for the second week in December 9-11th.
Debrief with us!
The hearings were a lot!
On September 17th at 6pm, join Let’s Get Free and Amistad Law Project in debriefing what happened at the public hearings, reflecting on our wins, our losses and the road ahead. You can expect a breakdown of what happened at the hearings last week from organizers at Let’s Get Free and Amistad, space to express your feelings, observations, and questions about the hearings, and time to imagine the changes we want to see at the Board.