Frank Rapp, an experienced trial lawyer in Pittsburgh, decided to volunteer to help with federal inmates who are seeking clemency. Kudos, of course, to Frank.
Last night, Frank sent me a copy of a letter he just received noting that the ABA and NACDL are moving forward with training for volunteer lawyers. He thought other lawyers who have not yet signed up to volunteer might be interested. I agree. If you are interested, I urge you to contact the ABA or the NACDL. See the e-mail address highlighted in red below.
9 May 2014
To: All Clemency Project 2014 Volunteers
From: Jim Felman and Stephen Saltzburg, ABA Criminal Justice Section and Norman Reimer, NACDL
Dear Clemency Project 2014 Volunteer,
On behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, we write to confirm receipt of your email expressing interest in volunteering to assist Clemency Project 2014, and to express our sincerest gratitude. The outpouring of support gives us great confidence that the profession will rise to meet the challenge.
Here is where things stand. The Department of Justice has sent a notice concerning the program to all federal inmates. The notice includes instructions as to how inmates may request assistance from Clemency Project 2014 and includes a questionnaire that elicits basic data that will be used for intake and preliminary screening. This data is being collected by the Bureau of Prisons and will be provided to Clemency Project 2014 in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, now that the criteria have been articulated by the Department of Justice, the Project is developing a comprehensive training program. That program will be conducted sometime in June, and it will be open to all without cost. The training will be available for live viewing via a Webinar, and thereafter it will be made available for viewing at any time. All participants in Clemency Project 2014 will be required to complete the training.
Once the date for the live training is set, we will notify you. We also plan to conduct a survey of all volunteers to get a sense of the time you believe you can commit to the project and determine whether some of you have particular skills that make you especially suited for certain tasks. We have also engaged a Project Manager who will be coming on board in a few weeks. The Project Manager will be Cynthia Roseberry, who is leaving her position as the Federal Defender for the Middle District of George to lead this important project. Cynthia will oversee the project and coordinate the involvement of our volunteers.
We already know that there will be thousands of requests, so your help will be vital to the success of the project. If you know of others interested in volunteering they may write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, thank you for your willingness to serve.
Norman Reimer Jim Felman Stephen Saltzburg