news & Updates


Groups Urge U.N. to Call for Abolition of Death By Incarceration During Historic U.S. Visit

April 24, 2023

Amid the historic visit of the U.N. Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in Law Enforcement, a coalition of civil rights, legal, and prisoners’ rights groups working on the issue of life imprisonment, also known as Death by Incarceration, released a statement.

[Read Full Statement here]

UN human rights experts begin US tour focusing on racial justice and policing

By: Maya Yang

April 24, 2023

A team of United Nations experts has arrived in the US on a tour that will focus on racial justice, law enforcement and policing.

On Monday, the Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement, an independent panel appointed by the UN human rights council, began its two-week visit to the US.

[Read Full Story from the Guardian]

Newsom told 123 California prisoners they could get out early. Many remain behind bars

By Mackenzie Mays, Staff Writer, L.A. Times

February 8, 2023

When Mary Reese received a call at the California Institution for Women in 2021, a prison official told her she had “won the lotto.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom had granted her mercy with a commutation shortening her sentence of 35 years to life for a series of burglaries committed in 2007. She believed she’d be free and reunited with her family within days.

But a year and eight months after Newsom noted her “good prospects for successful community reentry,” Reese, 64, remains in prison.

[Read Full Story from the L.A. Times]


By CC News

January 19, 2023

Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) has authored a bill to provide a ‘second look’ to Californians sentenced to death or serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Senator’s bill, SB 94, would allow individuals to petition for judicial review on special circumstance offenses specified in Penal Code 190.2 committed before June 5, 1990, after they have served at least 20 years of their sentence.

[Read the Press Release here]

Over 25,000 People in Prison Await Decisions on Their Clemency Applications

By Victoria LawTRUTHOUT

January 15, 2023

Across the U.S., people in prison are hoping for compassion — and clemency — allowing them to rejoin their loved ones.

Sixty-three-year-old Lazara Ordaz has spent the past 24 years behind bars on a 35-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. “I have missed over two decades of births, birthdays, Thanksgivings and Christmases which I will never get back,” Ordaz told Truthout.

[Read Full Story from Truthout]

Should We Join the International Committee by Ending Life Imprisonment without Parole?


December 4, 2022

As the movement to end the death penalty in the United States gains momentum – two-thirds of the states (36 out of 50) have either abolished capital punishment or conducted no executions in at least 10 years – serious attention is being paid to Life Imprisonment Without Parole (LWOP), which is on the books in every state, except Alaska. In the 27 states that have retained capital punishment, the only alternative sentence is LWOP.

[Read Full Story from LA Progressive or at the Markaz Review]

Human Rights Groups Urge UN to Call for Abolition of “Death by Incarceration”

By Marjorie Cohn

September 15, 2022

Several human rights organizations submitted a 31-page complaint to United Nations experts today, alleging that the United States is committing torture and violating the prohibition against racial discrimination by condemning people to death by incarceration through extreme sentences including life and life without possibility of parole (LWOP).

[Read Full Story from Truthout]

Prisoner Advocates Turn to the UN to End Extreme Prison Sentences

BY Victoria Law

September 15, 2022

In a sharply worded complaint to UN special rapporteurs submitted on Thursday, advocacy groups call for an end to “death by incarceration” sentencing in the US.

[Read Full Story from The Nation]

This man’s imprisonment shows why California’s ‘special circumstances’ rule must change, reformers say

JULY 29, 2022


Jamil Wilson says he unwittingly became an accomplice to a murder in 1994. He served 25 years because of a statute that lawmakers hope to change.

[Read full story from the L.A. Times]

Nothing But Time: Elderly Americans Serving Life Without Parole

June 23, 2022

By Ashley Nellis, Ph.D.

Almost half of the people serving life without parole are 50 years old or more and one in four is at least 60 years old. Read this important report from The Sentencing Project.

[Read Full report from The Sentencing Project]

Unjust sentencing law is overdue for reform

June 6, 2022

By Yvette McDowell, Special to CalMatters 

Mandatory life sentences aren’t appropriate for those being sentenced for crimes they did not commit. Senate Bill 300 would create a fairer system.

[Read Full story from CalMatters]

Canada supreme court rules life without chance of parole is ‘cruel’ and illegal

May 27, 2022

by Leyland Cecco in Toronto

Canada’s supreme court has ruled that life sentences without the chance of parole are both “cruel” and unconstitutional, in a landmark decision that could give more than dozen mass killers who committed “inherently despicable acts” the faint hope of release in the future.

[Read Full story from the Guardian]

Drop LWOP Coalition Press Release, September 10, 2021

Give Stanley Bernard a Chance for Parole


2nd annual community event and Rally

F.U.E.L. (Families United to End LWOP) and Drop LWOP came together in Sacramento on August 21-22, 2022 to host the 2nd annual community event gathering at McKinley Park (Sacramento) and Lobby Visit and Rally at the State Capitol.

Gov Newsom Grants Executive Clemency

July 1, 2022 Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has granted 17 pardons, 15 commutations, and one medical reprieve. Read Press Release Here


This October 16th-23rd the Drop LWOP Coalition is hosting an online Strategy Week to bring together organizers dedicated to ending Life Without Parole. The week will be a mix of information sharing and brainstorming so we can build on the momentum of the past two years since our L.A. Strategy Session in 2019 and work together to accelerate concrete plans […]READ MORE 2021 DROP LWOP STRATEGY WEEK


Governor Newsom has released new commutation information: MORE GOV NEWSOM LAUNCHES NEW COMMUTATION SITE