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Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2024) – Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order creating categories for expedited clemency in the state, as well as forming an advisory board responsible for reviewing every petition for clemency and providing counsel to the governor. Kevin Ring, vice president of criminal justice advocacy at Arnold Ventures, issued this statement:

We are grateful to Governor Murphy for making clear his intent to use his clemency authority to revisit lengthy prison sentences. The best evidence suggests that long sentences are far more costly and less effective at deterring and reducing crime than other tools at the state’s disposal. 

Expediting consideration of commutation requests when a petitioner meets certain criteria – such as when someone gets a much longer sentence simply because they exercised their right to trial or when a mandatory sentencing requirement has been repudiated by the legislature but the change was not applied retroactively – is a smart approach and we hope other governors follow suit.”

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. It is a team of more than 120 subject-matter experts headquartered in Houston with offices in New York and Washington, D.C. It works in five key issue areas: Criminal Justice, Education, Health, Infrastructure, and Public Finance. Its work is guided by Evidence-Based Policy, Research, and Advocacy

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