In 2006, EJI won freedom for several people who had been sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole for non-violent drug offenses or other petty crimes.
After winning a precedent-setting case authorizing sentence reductions, EJI assisted people who were condemned to die in prison for small property crimes or drug possession to win freedom and start new lives.
EJI won a ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court that permitted non-violent offenders sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole to obtain reduced sentences. Kirby v. Alabama was a major victory for poor people sentenced to prison until death. Junior Mack Kirby finally won his freedom in 2005 after 16 years in prison for marijuana charges.
Douglas Lamar Gray is a disabled Vietnam War veteran who was unjustly sentenced to prison until death for marijuana charges. EJI won a reduced sentence and freedom for Mr. Gray in 2006. He was in prison for 17 years.
Alabama’s notorious habitual felony offender law has sent hundreds of non-violent people to prison for the rest of their lives with no chance of parole for petty crimes. Jerald Sanders was convicted of stealing a bicycle and sentenced to imprisonment until death with no parole. After 12 years of incarceration and years of litigation, EJI won Mr. Sanders’s release.
Rex David Norris was unjustly sentenced to imprisonment until death for marijuana charges. EJI won a reduced sentence and freedom for Mr. Norris last year when he was released after 13 years in prison.
Diane Jones was wrongly convicted of drug trafficking charges and sentenced to imprisonment until death. After six years at Tutwiler Prison for Women, EJI won a reversal of her conviction and charges against her were dismissed, resulting in her 2006 release.