In her first term, Granholm commuted nine sentences of sick or aging inmates thought to be close to death. Yet since winning re-election and creating a clemency council early last year to help review cases, Granholm has ended 14 prison terms early -- including four this year for non-medical reasons, according to data reviewed by The Associated Press. All four offenders freed for non-health reasons had committed drug crimes resembling what landed LeFevre, now 53, in prison in 1975.But the piece also notes Michigan's Parole Board has reviewed "thousands" of clemency requests during Granholm's tenure and recommended commutastions in only 31 instances. Granholm agreed 23 times and continues to review other cases, but she is now said to be receiving hundreds of e-mails on LeFevre's behalf. Lo, and behold, last week:
Granholm commuted the sentences of Ronald Seeger, 49, and Sally Smith, 60. Seeger has served nearly 16 years of a minimum 20-year term for delivering drugs in Oakland County. Smith has served more than 18 years of a life sentence for conspiring to deal narcotics in Oakland County. Their pending freedom comes on the heels of two drug-related commutations in February, the first time Granholm approved releasing people who weren't sick.Michigan's previous governor, John Engler (R) only granted clemency in four cases by this point in his tenure, but granted a majority of his commutations (34) in his last year in office. Previous to Engler, Governor Jim Blanchard (D) commuted just once sentence by this point and added only five more before the end of his term.