Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted executive clemency to 23 current or former Tennesseans on Friday, his last full day as governor.
Cyntoia Brown will be released on parole supervision on Aug. 7, 2019, after serving 15 years in prison.
Bill Lee will be sworn in at Tennessee’s 50th governor on Saturday at 11 a.m. at War Memorial Auditorium.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted executive clemency to 11 people on Thursday. However, the much-debated case of Cyntoia Brown was not included.
“These individuals receiving pardons have made positive contributions to their communities and are worthy of the forgiveness that may help them restore their rights or obtain employment. Those receiving commutations will gain another chance to become contributing members of society,” Haslam said in a news release. “Clemency requires attempting to balance mercy and justice, and my legal team and I have taken this responsibility seriously during a thorough review of many cases.”
Gov. Bill Haslam has granted executive clemency to four people and is considering more requests.
Pardons were issued to the following individuals:
Gov. Bill Haslam exonerated a man who was falsely imprisoned for 31 years on a charge of rape and burglary, according to a statement from the Governor’s office.
- Gerald Canada for his 1978 burglary of an automobile and larceny convictions in Dyer County as an 18-year-old. He has since led a productive life and served his community as a public employee.
- Joseph Todd Davis for his 1995 possession and DUI convictions in Williamson County. He now operates his own business.
- Jonathan Andrew Forsythe for his 1998 theft, forgery, and burglary of an automobile convictions in Hamilton County. He has since pursued and obtained higher education degrees and received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Leah Margaret Foy for her 2003 theft conviction in Shelby County. She has been recognized for her signification involvement with military-related and children’s charities and received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Ben M. Frizzell III for his 2003 conviction for maintaining a dwelling for the use of controlled substances in Sullivan County. He has been committed to helping others, including those in recovery from substance abuse issues, and is an officer of a large multi-state company.
- Gary Lee Hill for his 1974 marijuana sale conviction in Roane County as an 18-year-old. Community leaders attest to his character, dedication to his family, and community contributions.
- Kenny Lee Lambert for his 1983 attempt to commit burglary conviction in Sullivan County. His citizenship rights were restored in 2011 and he received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Shea Langs for his 1992 drug-related conviction in Shelby County. He has obtained higher education degrees and works as a veterans justice outreach coordinator.
- David Ralph Ledford for his 1991 conviction for 2 counts of bribery in Davidson County. He has since made positive contributions in the Roane County community and received a positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Ryan Christopher Love his for 2010 convictions for reckless aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, criminal trespassing, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Washington County. He has completed vocational training and received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- John J. Manikas for his 2002 convictions for theft. He has contributed positively to his community though professional and civic organizations for many years.
- Patrick McDuff for his 1984 drug-related conviction in Blount County. He has become a business leader and entrepreneur and serves others through a church ministry.
- Daniel Johnson Moss for his 1999 theft conviction in Knox County. He later served in the Tennessee Army National Guard and was deployed to Bosnia and Afghanistan.
- Dennis Ervin Nunley for his 1982 convictions for offering to pass a forged instrument and concealing stolen property in Sullivan County. He works with others to overcome substance abuse issues and has significant community support.
- Jeffrey Wayne Perry for his 1984 and 1986 grand larceny convictions in Sumner County. Since then, Perry has been gainfully employed in various trades, and he received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Michael Lee Ridley for his 1972 drug-related conviction in Shelby County. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran and received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Robert C. Sherrill for his 2002 escape (leaving a Department of Children’s Services home), 2002 simple possession of marijuana, and 2003 and possession with intent to sell less than 0.5 grams of cocaine convictions. Sherrill was named a “Most Admired CEO” in 2018 by the Nashville Business Journal and received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Pamela Spindel for her 2002 forgery and possession of drug paraphernalia convictions in Blount County. She is now a licensed alcohol counselor and nationally certified drug addiction counselor that helps others in recovery and received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Rachael Tanner-Smith for her 2003 conviction for facilitation of manufacture of marijuana plants in Davidson County. She is now a licensed counselor pursuing additional higher education degrees. She volunteers extensively and received a unanimous, positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- David Vandergriff for his 1973 drug-related convictions in Knox County. He has since obtained master’s degrees and works in public service while maintaining active involvement in agricultural and horticultural organizations.
Commutations were issued to the following individuals:
- Jeremy Michael Ingram’s life sentence for his 1995 murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted murder convictions in Hamilton County were commuted to parole supervision beginning January 17, 2020, to last for the remainder of his sentence. Ingram, who was 18-years-old when the crimes were committed, will be subject to additional supervision conditions. He has undergone a transformation during 25 years of incarceration, earning four higher education degrees and actively participating in rehabilitation and faith-based programs and earning the respect of numerous volunteers and prison officials.
- Teresa Kay Joplin’s sentence of parole supervision for a 2013 drug-related conviction in Davidson County was commuted, releasing her from active supervision. She lives out-of-state, has complied with parole conditions, and is limited by a debilitating physical condition. Joplin received a positive recommendation from the Tennessee Board of Parole.
- Thomas Edward Reddick received a commutation to make him eligible for parole consideration by the Tennessee Board of Parole. He is serving a 28-year sentence for his 2002 murder conviction in Knox County, which expires in 2024, and has demonstrated substantial rehabilitation while incarcerated, in addition to suffering from serious health conditions.
Executive clemency is an act of mercy or leniency by the governor after a criminal conviction. A commutation is a reduction of the length or type of sentence imposed for a conviction, while a pardon is a statement of forgiveness that may assist with restoration of rights or expungement of a criminal record by a judge or overcoming the collateral consequences of a conviction with respect to obtaining housing and employment.
While in office, Haslam has granted a total of 9 commutations, 35 pardons, and one exoneration.