Debevoise Client Receives Clemency

1 November 2016

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP client, David Carroll, has been granted clemency by President Obama. He is currently 22 years into a mandatory life sentence for crack cocaine distribution, but because of the clemency grant, is now scheduled to be released on February 24, 2017.

In March 1995, a jury found Mr. Carroll guilty of seven counts of crack cocaine distribution, two counts of powder cocaine distribution, and one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. In June 1995, Mr. Carroll was sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment on one of the crack cocaine distribution charges, which exceeded 50 grams. Today, that amount is insufficient to trigger a mandatory life sentence.

Although Mr. Carroll has been in prison for almost 22 years, he has maintained a strong bond with family and friends, who are eager to support him once he is released. Mr. Carroll has spent considerable time in prison preparing himself to enter the workforce. Upon his release, Mr. Carroll has an offer to work for an insulation company where he will assist with growing its online presence and outside sales. Additionally, during his time in prison, Mr. Carroll has been involved in counseling prisoners who are about to be released on how to secure clothing, shelter, mental healthcare, and employment, work he hopes to continue after he is released.

This outcome is particularly noteworthy because Debevoise associates Risa B. Gordon and Ryan Kocse were told by the Clemency Project that Mr. Carroll’s case was not appropriate for the Project. Nevertheless, a member of the Project’s Steering Committee encouraged them to persevere, which they did, submitting his application in June. Ms. Gordon and Mr. Kocse got to know Mr. Carroll through this representation and had the great thrill of telling him, along with his son, the fantastic news that President Obama had granted the application. Mr. Carroll is part of a larger group of inmates who received clemency at the end of last week:

The Debevoise team was led by associates Risa B. Gordon and Ryan Kocse and included summer associate Kate Walsh, and was supervised by partner David Sarratt and counsel Jennifer R. Cowan.

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