Attend 'A Time for Mercy: Clemency in Massachusetts' on June 10

Thursday, June 3, 2021
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The Massachusetts Bar Association’s Clemency Task Force cordially invites you to join us as we host “A Time for Mercy” on Thursday, June 10, from 6-7 p.m.


The MBA Clemency Task Force was formed to review the clemency process (commutations and pardons), and to propose changes in areas that have resulted in denial of equal justice under the law and undermined public trust and confidence in our criminal legal system. The goal of this event is to raise awareness of these important issues and to support the work of the MBA Clemency Task Force as we try to convince Governor Charlie Baker, the Legislature and the Parole Board to adopt and follow the Task Force’s clemency resolutions. Clemency, an important tool of justice, has been all but dead in Massachusetts for the past 10 years. This virtual event will highlight the growing need to examine and reform our clemency procedures in Massachusetts.

Panelists will discuss:

  • What clemency is and its importance in the criminal legal system
  • What needs to change in Massachusetts
  • The racial impact of our present clemency system
  • How the system is working for clemency petitioners and their families in Massachusetts
Program faculty includes: Sandra Susan Smith, moderator, Professor of Criminal Justice, Harvard Kennedy School; Hon. Robert J. Cordy (ret.), panelist, McDermott Will & Emory LLP, Boston; Patricia DeJuneas, Esq., panelist, Sibbison, DeJuneas & Allen LLP, Boston; Patricia L. Garin, Esq., panelist, Northeastern Prisoners' Rights Clinic; Lisa M. Kavanaugh, Esq., panelist, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Innocence Project, Boston; Thomas A. Koonce, panelist, son of commutation petitioner Thomas E. Koonce; Rep. Liz Miranda -- 5th District, panelist, Massachusetts State House, Boston. 

The MBA is proud to have the support for this program from the following sponsoring organizations: Boston College Lifer Parole Clinic, Coalition for Effective Public Safety, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Greater Boston Legal Services, Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, Lawyers for Civil Rights, Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Northeastern Prisoners’ Rights Clinic, Prisoners’ Legal Services, Women’s Bar Association.

This webinar will be hosted using Zoom. Registration is required by 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, to participate in this program. After you register with the MBA, please look for an email from MassBar Education with the Webinar ID and Password. The email will be sent before the program on June 10.