Debevoise Video Highlights Debevoise Fight for Criminal Justice Reform and Against Racial Inequality

14 July 2021

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has created a short documentary about The Holloway Project, the firm’s pro bono initiative to fight for criminal justice reform and against racial inequality. The video, “Leveraging The First Step Act to Reduce Excessive Prison Sentences,” highlights the stories of two of 24 incarcerated men for whom Debevoise has obtained reduced sentences.

 Todd Ellerby and Kevin Haynes were both first-time offenders when over-zealous prosecutors inappropriately charged each man under the § 924(c), which resulted in stacked sentences of over 45 years. Leveraging the compassionate release statute and The First Step Act, John Gleeson, former U.S. District Court judge, has led teams of Debevoise pro bono lawyers whose innovative legal arguments have resulted in victory after victory for The Holloway Project – including for Mr. Ellerby and Mr. Haynes. Here they share their emotional journeys with us along with Judge Gleeson, who founded The Holloway Project in 2016, and associate Marisa Taney.

In the past 18 months, 181 Debevoise lawyers have spent nearly 16,000 hours working with Holloway Project clients. To date, the firm has won 24 cases, and has reduced our clients’ prison sentences by over 900 years.

Debevoise provides a wide array of pro bono legal services to marginalized communities and underserved populations on matters ranging from landmark international and national disputes to representations of low-income individuals. We also partner with clients on a range of corporate, litigation and tax pro bono matters in clinic settings, and on individual matters.