Trial Penalty Clemency Project
As set forth in the 2018 report authored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in conjunction with the Foundation for Criminal Justice, entitled “The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to Trial on the Verge of Extinction and How to Save It,” trial by jury has declined to the point that less than 3% of state and federal criminal cases are tried to a jury. And, as set forth in the Report, many of those individuals who exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to a jury trial are being penalized for doing so.
While society is awakening to the number of wrongs embodied in the trial penalty, there are a number of individuals living the trial penalty as they serve excessively long prison sentences as a result of electing to go to trial and holding the government to its burden. The only remedy for these individuals is executive clemency. The Trial Penalty Clemency Project aims to assist those individuals by pairing Applicants with Volunteer Attorneys who will assist them in preparing a clemency petition.
Reform is needed to end the trial penalty. In the interim, this Project provides an opportunity for a second chance to those individuals who are living it.
Steps to get started.
- Setup your account and login. (If you have an account for the NACDL website, you can use that.)
- After you login, review the training materials which will appear below.
- Complete and agree to the volunteer questionnaire.