Convener’s Corner

Taifa pensive


CLEMENCY:  WHAT IT WAS, WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT CAN BE. Lunch press reception featuring special guest Ms. Alice Johnson, who received the first drug sentence commutation under the Trump administration, followed by 3 panels of bipartisan clemency experts and advocates.

Media Advisory
July 17, 2018
Contact: Jonathan Kaplan, 202.721.5600,

Criminal Justice Reform Advocates to Hold Forum on July 25 to Discuss Clemency in the Trump Era, Featuring Commutation Recipient Alice Johnson & Bipartisan Clemency Advocates


What:  Justice Roundtable will host a forum on July 25, 2018 from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm to explore clemency for drug offenses, focusing on its use in the Bush, Clinton and Obama presidencies, how it is being handled during the Trump presidency and concrete ways it can be enhanced today and beyond.

Where:  George Washington University Law School, Moot Court Room 2000 H Street NW, Washington, DC

When:  11:30 – 2:00 Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Event Schedule

11:30 – 12:20: Lunch & Press Reception with Q and A featuring Ms. Alice Johnson, whose life without parole sentence for drug conspiracy was commuted by President Trump. The conversation will be facilitated by MiAngel Cody, Executive Director, The Decarceration Collective. Press availability with panelists and other special guests.

12:30 – 2:00: Clemency Panel Discussions

What it Was

Roy Austin, former White House Domestic Policy Council Rachel Barkow, Commissioner U.S. Sentencing Commission Jason Hernandez, sentence commutation by President Obama Amy Povah, Director CAN-DO Foundation & Clinton commutee

What it Is

Mark Holden, General Counsel, Koch Industries
Van Jones, political commentator, host of The Van Jones Show
Brittany Barnett, founder Buried Alive Project, Attorney for Alice Johnson Alice Marie Johnson, sentenced commutation by President Trump

What it Can Be

Mark Osler, Professor & Distinguished Chair, Univ. of St. Thomas Law School
Paul Larkin, Senior Fellow, Meese Center, Heritage Foundation
Ebony Underwood, founder, We Got Us Now
Andrea James, Natl Council Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls

Panels Moderated by Nkechi Taifa, Convener Justice Roundtable Coalition



Nkechi Taifa is the convener of the Justice Roundtable. An expert in the field of criminal justice, she is the Advocacy Director for Criminal Justice for the Open Society Foundations and Open Society Policy Center.

Click here to read Convener’s Corner archives







Get the newsletter