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** Family members of people eligible for clemency from President Obama, clemency attorneys, and #cut50 #ClemencyNOW Campaign Director Brittany Byrd are available for interviews. To schedule, please contact Lacy Crawford at Lacy@MegaphoneStrategies.com **

Statement from Jessica Jackson Sloan, National Director of #cut50, in response to President Obama’s recent clemency announcement:

“Today, we applaud President Obama for his continued effort to grant clemency to every deserving individual in federal prison. The President’s clemency initiative was a promise he made to those serving unjust and overly harsh sentences for drug-related offenses. It is imperative that he keep it.

“While today’s announcement means some families will be made whole, many more petitioners were denied - the vast majority denied with no explanation. The clemency process is sorely lacking in transparency - with little regard for the emotional impact these decisions have on individuals and their families. For those who were neither denied nor granted mercy, time is running out. Each passing day brings heightened desperation and anxiety. Some are beginning to lose hope as the clock continues to tick.

"Meaningful criminal justice reform is desperately needed in Congress - but Leadership has failed to act this year. Meanwhile, thousands of drug offenders are languishing in prison under outdated and unduly harsh laws. Clemency from the President is their only hope for freedom.

"We urge the President to continue down this path, granting clemencies in a momentous and encouraging manner. He should leave no deserving individual behind bars when he leaves office.”

#cut50 is planning to escalate its #ClemencyNOW campaign urging President Obama to speed up his clemency initiative starting right after the election. More details will be released early next week. Read more about the campaign at cut50.org/ClemencyNOW

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