Our aim with presenting Freedom Stories is to highlight the incredible people who were once sentenced to death by incarceration (life without the possibility of parole) and are now thriving in their new chance at life. We hope to show the success of released LWOP’s in in order to prove why more people serving LWOP sentences should receive a second look so that they have an opportunity to someday leave prison.
Formerly incarcerated LWOP’s have shown to be folks that understand that the worst day of their lives, the worst action they have taken that caused the LWOP sentence, does not define them and that they have valuable contributions to make to society once they are released. As important as the social contributions LWOP’s have made, is the miracle of reunification with families.
Freedom Stories present the beauty of a life no longer mired with the hopelessness that an LWOP sentence imposes, but one that is thriving with new life after being released from their cages.
Roy Camenisch was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) in 1983, what he called “a slow death in prison.” In 2018, Governor Brown commuted Roy’s sentence to 37 years to life; Roy was found suitable for parole at his first parole board hearing a few months later. Upon his release from prison in 2019, Roy chose to resettle in Los Angeles County.
Chyrl Lamar was given two consecutive life without parole (LWOP) sentences in 1990. In March 2020, Governor Newsom commuted Chyrl’s sentence to 33 years to life. She was found suitable for parole and released from prison soon after.
Kelly Savage-Rodriguez, a domestic violence survivor, was unfairly sentenced to life without parole (LWOP) in 1998 for a murder she did not commit nor intend. After a long legal battle, she was eventually commuted by Governor Brown in December 2017.
Stephen Davis spent 27 years in prison serving life without parole. He was commuted by Governor Brown and found suitable for parole at his second parole hearing.