Gov. Bill Lee grants clemency to seventeen people, introduces new review for school zone drug offenses

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has granted clemency to 17 people and introduced a new process for drug-free school zones.

On Wednesday, Lee announced he had granted “executive clemency decisions for 17 offenders who have demonstrated a successful path to rehabilitation”. The decisions were made alongside the state’s Board of Parole, whose recommendations are non-binding. Out of the 17, there was one exoneration,13 pardons, and three commutations which would qualify for parole eligibility upon meeting specified requirements.

“After reviewing the unique merits of each case, I have made the decision to grant these individuals executive clemency,” Lee said. “These men and women have shown they are ready for productive lives beyond their sentences, and I appreciate the Board of Parole’s consideration in this process.”

In addition, the Office of the Governor and the state’s Department of Corrections jointly introduced a new clemency process for those incarcerated for drug-free offenses if they occurred before September 2020.

Under the changes made to the law last year, the drug-free zone was reduced to a 500 feet radius. For incarcerated persons to qualify, they can not have sold drugs to minors or received a drug-related infraction within the last three years.




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