Whitmer grants clemency to 4 prisoners

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    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday that she is granting clemency to four Michigan prisoners who were incarcerated for nonviolent and drug-related crimes.

    “As a former prosecutor, I recognize how critical it is to take steps toward a smarter and more equitable justice system. Over the last two years, we’ve worked with leaders on both sides of the aisle to make tremendous progress to give people a second chance, from reforming civil asset forfeiture to becoming a national leader on expungement,” Whitmer said. “These commutations offer a second chance to four individuals who have accepted responsibility and paid their debts to society and whose sentences span decades for non-violent offenses.”

    Based on the affirmative recommendation of the Michigan Parole Board, Michael Thompson, Lawrence Cadroy, Lorenzo Garrett, and Larry McGhee were given commutations for their non-violent sentences.

    A commutation reduces a sentence to a specified term, but does not nullify the underlying conviction. 

    Thompson was sentenced on May 31, 1996 to 40-60 years in prison for firearms possession by a felon. He served 22 years on a sentence that was scheduled for an earliest release date of 2038.

    Cadroy was sentenced on March 30, 1999 to life in prison for drug possession. He served 21 years on a sentence that was scheduled for an earliest release date of 2030.

    Garrett was sentenced on May 5, 1999 to 29-170 years in prison for selling drugs. He served 22 years on a sentence that was scheduled for an earliest release date of 2027.

    McGhee was sentenced on July 1, 2004 to 20-30 years in prison for selling drugs. He served 16 years on a sentence that was scheduled for an earliest release date of 2024.

    All four men will be immediately eligible for parole consideration and subsequent release consistent with state law.

    “For far too long, the so-called ‘tough on crime’ and ‘war on drugs’ eras of criminal justice have led to fractured families and broken communities that make our state less safe, particularly for people of color in Michigan,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said. “Our administration has spent the last two years delivering bipartisan solutions to improve the criminal justice system in a way that levels the playing field for individuals who have committed nonviolent offenses. We will continue to find ways to provide second chances for everyone, which will make our families, neighborhoods, and communities are safer and stronger.”

    Allison Donahue
    Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.