The mission of the Mercy Project is to pursue sentencing reductions or commutations for federal prisoners who have demonstrated remarkable rehabilitation, or who suffer from serious medical conditions.
As such, we serve as both a “Second Look” center and a clemency center. Our Project is supported by a network of dedicated pro bono attorneys, academics, and law students. Our teams consider an array of strategies for qualified prisoners, including identifying legal grounds for sentencing reductions, clemency petitions, and compassionate release applications based upon serious medical conditions.
Candidates for the Mercy Project are typically serving very lengthy federal sentences for non-violent offenses and are ready for reentry into society. If your case, or a case you know of, meets the guidelines below, you may submit information about the case for our review. This release and information form must be included with your submission, along with a copy of the candidate’s Presentence Report and Judgment and Commitment Order.
The Mercy Project will contact you if the case is accepted for possible further action. We regret that we cannot issue declination letters for cases that are not accepted. Our address is:
The Mercy Project
c/o The Center on the Administration of Criminal Law
139 MacDougal Street, Room 307
New York, New York 10012-1076
The Mercy Project seeks to assist candidates who: (1) received lengthy federal sentences for non-violent offenses; (2) have exhausted all appellate and collateral avenues for relief including habeas relief; (3) have more than 3 years remaining on their sentences; and (4) have made great strides to improve and rehabilitate themselves and help others while incarcerated.
Crack cases that concluded before August 3, 2010, may be appropriate for referral. Cases involving the application of a US Sentencing Guideline that was amended and made retroactive may also be appropriate for referral.
Cases involving the possession of a weapon, intimidation or violence will be disfavored. Candidates who have had serious disciplinary infractions while incarcerated will be disfavored.
Finally, if the offense involved a financial crime, the extent of the financial harm will be considered.