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LAST PRISONER PROJECT

1312 17TH STREET SUITE 640

DENVER, CO 80202

© 2019 by The Last Prisoner Project. All rights reserved.

STORIES 

This page is constantly updated with new stories of those who have been impacted by the criminalization of cannabis.

If you or someone you know would like to share their story please complete our form.

CORVAIN

COOPER

Arrested for what would now be classified as a misdemeanor.


Sentenced to life in prison under three strikes law.


After the US Supreme Court denied Corvain’s appeal, Corvain still hopes for executive clemency.

EVELYN 

LACHAPELLE

Imprisoned for simply putting money from cannabis sales in her bank account.


Served four years out of a seven year sentence.


Is now reunited with her family and daughter and working to rebuild her life.

 

We need more happy endings like Evelyn.

DENNIS

HUNTER

Convicted and sentenced to prison for cultivating cannabis.

 

Served six and a half years in federal prison.

Now makes a living legally selling the same plant he lost over six years of his life for.

GEORGE

MARTORANO

Sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for drug possession and distribution.


This was the longest prison sentence imposed on a first time, non-violent offender in American history.

He now makes a living by advocating for prison reform, working at his non-profit, The Creative Writing Foundation, and his hemp cafe.

JOHN

KNOCK

Imported cannabis in the 70's and 80s.


The sentencing judge admitted the crimes he was arrested for were victimless.

John has served twenty three years of a life sentence and continues to seek clemency. 

His sister, Beth Curtis, has devoted her life to sharing not just John’s story, but all those serving life sentences for cannabis through her website lifeforpot.com.

WAY QUOE

LONG

Holds the distinction of receiving one of the harshest sentences for marijuana ever handed down by the Ninth Circuit.

 

Charged with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and is serving a de facto life sentence for a nonviolent, marijuana-only offense.

 

Long spends his time in prison performing and writing music

JUSTIN

GRAHAM

After serving four years in the US Air Force, Justin Graham was diagnosed with PTSD and MS and received his medical marijuana card.

 

After a routine traffic stop, Justin was arrested after a pipe was found in his car while visiting his hometown in the legal state of Michigan.

 

Justin served 75 days and although he is now released, the terms of his probation prevented him from using marijuana medicinally. 

MICHAEL

THOMPSON

Michael Thompson is serving a de facto life sentence in the now legalized state of Michigan for selling 3 pounds of marijuana to a police informant.

 

During the 25 years he has spent imprisoned, his father, mother, and his only son have died. His mother’s final wish was that Thompson wouldn’t die in prison.

 

He continues to fight for clemency from the Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

FERRELL

SCOTT

Ferrell is serving a life sentence for transporting marijuana.

 

His mandatory life sentence is not because he has a dangerous or violent past, but because he declined a 12-year plea deal, thinking that was excessive sentence for marijuana.

 

His only other convictions were for small time drugs, misdemeanors and driving infractions. 

ISMAEL

LIRA

Ismael Lira was sentenced to life without possibility of parole for intent to distribute marijuana.

 

Ismael has served 15 years and while incarcerated has taken a number of vocational training courses. Despite strong family support and a job awaiting him upon release, his clemency petition was denied in 2017. 

LELAND

DODD

Leland Dodd has spent 28 years behind bars after agreeing to buy 50 pounds of marijuana from an undercover police officer.

 

He is the first person in Oklahoma sentenced to life without parole for drug trafficking under one of the nation’s harshest sentencing laws.

 

From prison, Leland learned to crochet hats and afghans that have now been sold to people all over the world at LPP events to help raise funds for Leland's commissary.

MICHAEL

PELLETIER

After losing the ability to use his legs at a young age, Michael discovered the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. He was arrested for importing marijuana from Canada to the US and because of two prior marijuana charges received life in prison without parole.

While continuing to fight for his freedom through clemency petitions, Michael is also a self-taught artist. To see his art visit his website.

PARKER

COLEMAN

Parker is currently serving a de facto life sentence of 60 years for getting caught up in a marijuana conspiracy charge despite no evidence of direct involvement or violence of any kind.

Unless he receives clemency he will be in his 80s when released.

CHAD

NUTSCH

Nutsch is currently serving a two year sentence for selling marijuana between the ages of 19-21.

 

In the intervening years he had established himself as a succesful entrepreneur but in September of 2019 he was sent to federal prison, seven years after he was involved in selling cannabis. 

 

Chad now works to raise awareness and fight for legal cannabis reform from prison. Sign his petition here

JEREMY DAVID

GROVE

Earlier this year Jeremy David Grove was sent to federal prison for five years for distributing marijuana.

 

While a billion dollar legal industry continues to expand across the US, Jeremy was ripped away from his family, including his 4 year old daughter.

CRAIG

CESAL

Craig is a Chicago native where he lived with his family and worked at an auto body shop.

 

After being charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, he pled guilty because he didn’t know what else to do, and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

 

"At the time I thought, 'Surely, the Court of Appeals will overturn this', a guy with no criminal history, a legitimate business, there’s no way they would give me a sentence worse than most murderers get."

UNCLE

MARK

"Uncle Mark" was a cannabis grower in California, Oregon, and Washington beginning in the 1970s. In the 1990s he was arrested in Washington among a group of growers.

 

Mark refused to give information about his friends and was sentenced to federal prison for 10 years.


A few years into his sentence, he became very ill, and lacking the proper medical care in prison, died at the age of 53.

STEVE

HAMRIC

While serving his country in the US Army, Steve Hamric was arrested for selling hashish to his fellow soldiers.

 

At 18, he was sentenced to 11 years and served 5. Despite developing PTSD in prison, Steve assisted his fellow prisoners through advocacy work while incarcerated.

 

Now that he is released, Steve continues his work as a prison reform and legal cannabis advocate.

DANNY

TREVINO

In 2020 a judge sentenced Danny Trevino to 16 YEARS in federal prison for operating a medical marijuana facility in Michigan, where recreational sales are now legal.

 

His case highlights the need for federal sentencing reform for cannabis offenses, as well as the need for legal states to reduce barriers to entry into the industry for individuals with past drug offenses.

ANTONIO

BASCARO

Last year, Antonio Bascaro, 84, was released after serving 39 years in prison, the longest-known US jail sentence for a nonviolent marijuana conviction.

 

At the time of his conviction, Antonio had no prior criminal record. After spending nearly four decades behind bars, when he was finally released this summer he faced the possibility of deportation as a Cuban citizen.

 

Luckily he is now truly free and reunited with his family in Miami.

STEPHANIE

SHEPARD

In 2011 Stephanie Shepard was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in New York. Beyond selling just 4 ounces of cannabis, her only involvement in distribution was simply acting as caretaker to a man who had sold marijuana and was struggling with a life threatening illness.

 

For her kindness, she was rewarded by our “justice system” with a sentence of 120 months in federal prison and five years probation as a first-time, nonviolent offender.

 

Stephanie is now released and living in Northern California, but while incarcerated her beloved father passed away. Stephanie will never recover the time she lost or the moments with her family that were cruelly taken from her by the federal government.

JAMES

ROMANS

In 2013 James (Jimmy) Romans was convicted of a nonviolent marijuana conspiracy charge and sentenced to life in federal prison.

 

He was taken from his home and family, including three kids, in Indiana and relocated to a prison in Texas, and then to Kentucky.

 

If granted clemency, Jimmy says he would use his time to repair his relationship with his family including his two youngest children who he has not had contact with for almost nine years. ⠀

WILLIAM

UNDERWOOD

William Underwood is a devoted father of four, grandfather of three and a former music industry executive who promoted, managed and jumpstarted the careers of top R&B and pop stars of the 80s.

 

But in 1990, prosecutors, hoping to get a lengthy sentence during the War on Drugs era, pegged him as the leader of a drug conspiracy and was sentenced to 3 mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years on drug conspiracy charges, plus a 4th charge -- a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

 

An aging 65-year old model prisoner, father and grandfather, he continues to fight for executive clemency.

H. RUBEN

MCGURK

H. Ruben McGurk is a nonviolent marijuana offender who is serving a sentence of life without parole.

Last year, Ruben's was one of the first clemency petitions to reach President Trump's desk, yet no action has been taken. "I continue to sit in federal prison at the age of 60 waiting on 'justice' that may never come."

 

Without a federal commutation, Ruben will die in federal prison for a nonviolent marijuana offense.