Prof. JaneAnne Murray Receives Commendation for Clemency Work

September 19, 2017

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has presented Professor JaneAnne Murray with a presidential commendation for her “commitment to ensuring justice and due process for all” as a leader with two NACDL clemency efforts: Clemency Project 2014, an initiative spearheaded by the Obama administration, and the recently launched NACDL/FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) State Clemency Project. Also honored was Marjorie J. Peerce, co-managing partner with Ballard Spahr, a New York firm that recently merged with Minneapolis-based Lindquist & Vennum.

“JaneAnne and Marjorie donated their time and considerable talents to Clemency Project 2014,” said Barry J. Pollack, immediate past president of the NACDL, who awarded the commendations. “This project helped hundreds of people secure their freedom and return to their families and communities. It was my privilege on behalf of NACDL to recognize JaneAnne and Marjorie, as their contributions exemplify the best in our profession.”

Murray is a professor of practice at the Law School, where she has been a faculty member since 2011 and was named the 2014-15 Stanley V. Kinyon Adjunct Teacher of the Year. She also has her own criminal defense practice in Minneapolis. During Clemency Project 2014, Murray served as one of three NACDL representatives on the 10-member steering committee. She wrote reference materials for and worked with volunteer attorneys to improve their work, as well as reviewed the eligibility of thousands of applicants under the criteria required for the program. Murray also directed a Clemency Project 2014 effort at the Law School, with the assistance of Professor June Carbone, in which 15 students crafted petitions for 35 inmates, visiting many of them in federal prisons across Minnesota. Fourteen were granted clemency, and Murray continues to litigate for several clients’ release, including with renewed clemency requests, compassionate release applications, and habeas petitions. A month ago, working with three other attorneys—pro bono counsel Joshua Toll of King & Spalding, Kevin McCants (both in Washington, D.C.), and Law School alumnus William Hamilton (’15)—she helped secure the reduction of a life sentence to 30 years for Derrin Perkins, whose case was featured on PBS NewsHour. For the NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project, Murray has agreed to serve on the attorney advisory group as well as act as one of the attorneys who will assist volunteers with individual cases. She has also written reference materials that will be available to participating pro bono attorneys.

Read more about the work Murray and her Law School students did with Project Clemency 2014.

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