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Clemency for Christa

What is clemency?

To grant clemency is to give mercy. It is an essential component of our criminal justice system in the United States. In Christa's case, clemency is the recognition that the ultimate punishment is not appropriate for someone who committed a crime at 18 years old.


Per the American Bar Association: “Prior to the execution of a death-sentenced prisoner, a clemency petition asks a governor, board of pardons and parole, or both, to conduct a full review of the case and grant either a reprieve (a delay of execution for a set or undetermined period of time); a pardon (effectively ‘undoing’ the initial conviction); or a commutation of sentence (for example, reducing a sentence of death to a sentence of life in prison). In the capital clemency context, death row petitioners typically seek either a reprieve or a commutation.”

We are asking Governor Lee to grant clemency and commute Christa's sentence to life imprisonment.

Defendant’s response 

Read the Defendant’s response in opposition to the state's motion to set an execution date and request for a certificate of commutation.

Amicus Brief

Read an amicus brief filed in support of Christa by international legal scholars and former members and staff of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

IACHR Resolution 

Read a resolution from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights regarding Christa's case.

Sixth Circuit Concurrence 

Read a concurrence from Circuit Judge Jane B. Stranch of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Pike v. Gross (beginning on pg. 15).

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