| What is a commutation?
Commutations are sometimes the only way for many people to be released from prison, especially those with Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences. Survivors of violence are particularly vulnerable to being punished with what many have called a living death sentence.
| Why are commutations particularly important now?
S&P New York calls on Governor Cuomo to immediately use his clemency powers to free criminalized survivors of gender violence held in prisons in New York. Throughout his time in office, Governor Cuomo has granted pardons to just 163 people, and commuted the sentences of only a dozen people. These numbers are pitifully low compared to the more than 50,000 people held in prisons across New York State. The New York State Constitution grants the governor power to pardon or commute any sentence, at any time, for any reason. Our campaign calls on Governor Cuomo to use the powers of his office to immediately free criminalized survivors of gender violence! Join the S&P New York campaign here.
By the end of his term, 283 people were commuted by former Governor Jerry Brown. This is significant compared to 1-2 people commuted per term by past Governors since the 1960s. With our allies, California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP), the statewide California S&P team is building on this opportunity to release as many people as possible during Gov. Newsom’s administration. We want to see commutations in the thousands! Take action here.
S&P New York and CCWP also released crucial Clemency & Parole Guides to help guide survivors and others through the process of seeking release from prisons. The video from the webinar, How to Apply for Commutations & AB2845, produced by S&P California and partners, is also available.
Want to learn more? Check out S&P blog posts about the commutations campaigns.
| Why is this important for criminalized survivors of violence?
| How can I support the campaigns?
- Take action steps shared by the #FreeThemNY and #FreeThemCA campaigns.
- Circulate these Clemency & Parole guides.
- Donate to support our efforts and help cover printing costs for postcards and trips to visit and build coalitions with imprisoned survivors in New York and California.
Support the #FreeThemNY campaign!
Send an email to tell Governor Cuomo: Grant Clemency for ALL Criminalized Survivors.
Call-in campaigns, also known as “phone zaps,” are one of many tools to directly let public officials and others know what you want them to do or to stop doing. Call the numbers below and use this sample script.
- Office of Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo: 518-474-8343 or 212-681-7753
- Counsel to the Governor, Zach Knaub: 212-681-7753
- Executive Clemency Bureau: (518) 457-7565
More details at survivedandpunishedny.org
- Visit and circulate California S&P Take Action Page
- Sign & Circulate these petitions to free survivors imprisoned in California prisons widely:
Janetta Leiva: bit.ly/CommuteJanetta
Stacey Dyer: bit.ly/CommuteStacey
Brandy Scott: bit.ly/CommuteBrandy
Rae Harris: bit.ly/CommuteRae
Tomiekia Johnson: bit.ly/CommuteTomiekia
Liyah Birru: freeliyah.org
- Download and send these postcards (or write a letter with the same talking points) to CA Gov. Newsom urging him to end the “abuse to prison pipeline and commute all survivors.
- Sign the CCWP letter to the CA Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to commute the sentences of all people serving Life Without Parole sentences and to #DropLWOP from the penal code: bit.ly/DropLWOP
- Join our email list!