Wednesday, April 6, 2016
"President Obama today granted clemency to Eugene Haywood, a client of the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. Mr. Haywood was serving a mandatory minimum life sentence for a non-violent drug offense he committed in 2001. His FCJC attorney Judith Miller commented, “Mr. Haywood emblematizes the deep flaws in our federal criminal system. He should never have had to face a mandatory life sentence for this offense, and we thank the President for correcting this injustice.”
Mr. Haywood’s release is a part of the President’s new clemency initiative. In starting the initiative, the administration recognized that some of the “older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today’s laws erode people’s confidence in our criminal justice system.” The FCJC hosted a meeting this fall for students and other clinics involved with the clemency initiative.
FCJC students were critical to the clemency effort. Under Miller’s supervision, 2014-2015 clinic students Elpitha Betondo, '15, Sri Pernankil, '15, and Bryant Lin, '16, and 2015-2016 clinic students Grace Goodblatt, '16, and Rick Redmond, '17, tirelessly researched Mr. Haywood’s background, spoke with him and his family on the phone, sent away for countless records, and drafted his materials. Betondo (now a first year associate at Jenner & Block) also presented his story to Senator Durbin last year." See more on this item here.