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X Tennessee Governor Grants Clemency to 11 Current and Former Felons

Bill Haslam Clemency Update : Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam ordered four sentence commutations for state prisoners and pardons for seven non-incarcerated individuals in the last two weeks of 2018.

Whom did Bill haslam granted clemency ?

In a news release, Haslam said the seven who were given pardons, listed below, "have made positive contributions to their communities."

Bill Haslam Clemency List :

Tennessee Pardon and Sentence Commutation

Tennessee Pardon and Sentence Commutation

  • Jack Ferris Purkey : Jack Ferris Purkey was convicted in 1983 for embezzlement and related crimes. Since his release, he has obtained a law degree and a master of library science degree. He has been commended by many community leaders for his contributions to his community and recommended for a pardon by the Tennessee Board of Parole.
  • Amir Paydar : Amir Paydar was convicted in 2002 for a DUI and being a minor in possession of beer when he was an 18-year-old college student.  He has since graduated from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center with highest honors and is now a board-certified radiologist.
  • Willie Stewart Jr. : Willie Stewart Jr. was convicted of felony possession of under a half gram of cocaine in 2004. He has since earned an associate degree and other certifications in applied science and worked as a technician in the Phoenix, Arizona, water department. He is also a minister at a Phoenix-area Christian center.
  • Michael Martin Lacey : Michael Martin Lacey was convicted in 1996 for possession with intent to deliver a Schedule 1 controlled substance. He has since been working in the field of information technology in Florida for 20 years, received numerous technical certifications and is now an IT manager for a Tampa corporation.
  • Phyllis Cross : Phyllis Cross was convicted in 1998 for forgery and in 2003 for criminal impersonation. She later earned associate and bachelor degrees in psychology and now helps people to overcome substance abuse issues through her work at the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
  • Jeffrey Hall Connell : Jeffrey Hall Connell was convicted for driving under the influence, aggravated assault, marijuana possession and public drunkenness. A Vietnam veteran, Connell has since been regularly employed in various maintenance and handyman roles and is active in his church.
  • Richard Knott : Richard Knott was convicted in 1983 for the sale and possession of marijuana. Knott has worked for decades in the metal fabrication industry, is active in his church, and is involved with an organization that supports victims of child abuse.

    Tennessee Sentence Commutations Granted

    Haslam granted sentence commutations to four individuals: Janet Edmond Kostyal, Nicky J. Randolph, Marvin Kitchen and Keith Jackson. None of the commutations resulted in immediate release.

  • Janet Edmond Kostyal :Kostyal was sentenced to life in prison for a 1974 murder. In 1985, Gov. Lamar Alexander commuted her sentence to parole supervision. Haslam's commutation ended the supervision.
  • Nicky J. Randolph : Randolph was sentenced to life in prison for a 1985 murder as a juvenile.  His sentence was commuted to parole supervision in 2000 by Gov. Don Sundquist. The recent commutation ended the supervision.
  • Marvin Kitchen : Kitchen was convicted of armed robbery in 1973. That and subsequent convictions resulted in effectively life imprisonment without parole in 1993. He commutation restores his eligibility for parole consideration.
  • Keith Jackson :Jackson had the minimum sentence he needs to serve before he is eligible for parole reduced from 25 years to 17 years. He was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell approximately 940 feet from a school. Because his location fell within the 1,000-foot threshold of a drug-free zone, Jackson received an enhanced sentence of 36 years.

Haslam has previously only granted one commutation, one exoneration and eight pardons, but he will continue to review clemency requests. Check out the update here

Tennessee Pardon and Sentence Commutation Attorneys

If you believe you may be eligible for relief from your sentence, or if you seek to have your criminal record expunged through a pardon, contact the Law Office of Brandon Sample. Our experienced Tennessee pardon and sentence commutation attorneys are standing by.

About Brandon Sample

Brandon Sample is an attorney, author, and criminal justice reform activist. Brandon’s law practice is focused on federal criminal defense, federal appeals, federal post-conviction relief, federal civil rights litigation, federal administrative law, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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