Denver Lawyer Wins Clemency Petition for Pro Bono Client

Attorneys aid federal prisoners under President Obama’s final round of commutations and pardons.

As one of his last major presidential actions, President Barack Obama granted a final round of commutations and pardons Jan. 19 for hundreds of federal prisoners serving mandatory sentences — a number of clemency grants that far exceeds that of any U.S. president since President Harry Truman.

“Proud to make this one of my final actions as President. America is a nation of second chances, and 1,715 people deserved that shot,” Obama tweeted.

Steven Rayford Moore, a nonviolent, low-level drug offender serving a 30-year sentence for drug possession was one of the 330 prisoners who received commutation by the president on his last day in office — a number higher than any other president has ever granted in a single day.

Moore was represented by Kira Suyeishi, an associate at Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe. Suyeishi practices commercial litigation and regulatory law and performed pro bono work through Clemency Project 2014, a clemency initiative that recruits attorneys from all practices to represent federal prisoners serving mandatory-minimum sentences pro bono in an effort to reduce their sentences.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the February 13, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.