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Released on Jan 24, 2024
CSU|LAW Pardon, Clemency + Reentry Clinic Granted 5 Pardons in 2023

Pictured: Pardoned clients Judith Amicone and Jalina Lockhart; Clinic Director Khalida Sims Jackson and Co-director Kate Pruchnicki ‘16

The CSU|LAW Pardon, Clemency + Reentry Clinic (PCR Clinic) launched in 2022 to help individuals in Northeast Ohio continue to redefine themselves and their futures after a criminal conviction. In its first full year of operation in 2023, the Clinic experienced numerous successful outcomes.  That includes five pardons issued by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. 

“The impact of receiving the pardons is amazing but it is all about the clients and their hard work,” explained Clinic Director Khalida Sims Jackson.  “It is fulfilling as a lawyer and an educator to have students see first-hand various impacts of the criminal justice system on a person's life.”

Jalina Lockhart became the first PCR client to be granted a pardon in February 2023. Lockhart was a member of the Ohio Army National Guard but struggled as a young, single mother and ultimately was arrested on a drug offense, and later gun possession and obstruction of justice due to an unfortunate set of circumstances. After spending a year in prison, Lockhart went on to earn her bachelor's degree from Cleveland State University.  She went on to receive a master's degree and was hired at Cleveland EMS.  Part of the reason Lockhart sought clemency was so she could reenroll in the Army National Guard.

CSU|LAW 3L student Justin Daniels Dawes worked diligently with CSU|LAW Professor Robert Triozzi to best prepare Lockhart for her hearing.  They had mock hearings and several meetings to ensure Lockhart was prepared for her hearing.

Judith Amicone also received a pardon as a PCR client.  Amicone currently serves as the Supervisor of Addiction Services for The Centers for Families and Children and is a licensed chemical dependency counselor. She went through a long and inspiring journey to sobriety after severely injuring a woman while driving under the influence. Her current occupation was inspired by the offense, for which she has been pardoned.

CSULAW 3L student Maggie Weaver assisted on Amicone’s case and led a mock hearing with her.

“The CSU|LAW team was a tremendous help throughout the process,” said Amicone.  “I felt 100% prepared for the hearing and the preparation really helped ease my nerves about the whole thing.  I can't thank the CSU|LAW Clinic enough.” 

The PCR Clinic is a service provider for the Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project.  Students in the Clinic, under the Supervision of the Director Jackson and Assistant Director (previously interim Director) Kate Pruchnicki ‘16, represent individual clients seeking pardon or clemency from the Ohio governor, represent individuals seeking expungement of prior convictions, and/or assist in petitions for other post-conviction relief. They engage in each phase of representation, from client interviews, to determining case strategies, to drafting motions, petitions, and applications before various municipal and county venues.” 

“The clinic is here to support and advocate for the clients while best preparing students to be great lawyers,” said Jackson. “It is important that the clinic gives learning opportunities to the students while supporting a structure of advocacy and professionalism.”

Category tags
Criminal Law

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