The Catholic University of America

Sandy Ogilvy, professor, law, and his students, were interviewed for a story in Diverse Issues in Higher Ed on the CUA Law/Ehrlich Partnership on Clemency. See below.

Catholic University Finds Clemency Project Rewarding Experience

From: Diverse Issues in Higher Ed
Date: Jan. 18, 2016
Author: Jamaal Abdul-Alim

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“I can’t express how all this has made me grateful for people other than myself who are not selfish and continue to help people any way they can,” McDonald wrote in an email from FCI Jesup, a federal prison in Southern Georgia, to CUA law professor J.P. “Sandy” Ogilvy, director of the Innocence Project Clinic & Clemency Project at CUA.

“It’s been one of the most joyful days that I can remember in a long time,” Ogilvy said.

Ogilvy said Clemency Project 2014 is part of a welcome reversal of “Draconian” sentencing practices that emerged as part of the nation’s war on drugs.

“So young men in their 20s were never going to be released from prison, and this project and the administration’s willingness to — at least for the people that meet the criteria — consider releasing people who would otherwise look to die in prison, when someone is released it’s just a wonderful thing to be able to help someone like that,” Ogilvy said.

For law students, Ogilvy said working on clemency entails the kind of experience that law students should attain in order to gain a better sense of what they will have to do as lawyers.

“I think, from my perspective, it gives the students the kind of full range of lawyering experiences that they can expect when they’re in practice,” Ogilvy said. “Even if they never intend to practice criminal law, they have the opportunity to do client interviewing and, in some cases, client counseling, and they have the ability to do fact investigation, legal writing, research. So it’s a full range of lawyering skills.”

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