Paulette Martin deserves clemency, not a life sentence, supporters say

Although President Donald Trump recently granted clemency to almost a dozen federal inmates, including women with convictions for nonviolent offenses, there are still many whose supporters say deserve clemency. Paulette Martin is one of those individuals.

Martin, 73, is serving a life sentence without parole for conspiracy to distribute powdered cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin. She also has a 1986 conviction for cocaine possession.

In her bid to get her prison sentence reduced, Marin has the support of Arcola Washington-Adduci, warden of  the Federal Correctional Institution in Aliceville, Alabama. Washington-Adduci wrote a letter offering his assessment of her character.

“Paulette Martin has worked in the Education Department as an education tutor from Oct. 3, 2013 until present," the warden wrote. "During that time, she has assisted the Education Department staff in providing the necessary tools needed to help motivate, inspire, and tutor other inmate students who are trying to achieve the General Equivalency Diploma. Paulette Martin is responsible for assisting over 50 inmates with completing and obtaining their GED. She has always maintained a professional demeanor while at work, and is a model inmate to others.” 

The Buried Alive Project notes that Martin has several medical conditions including heart disease, arthritis, colitis, hypertension and chronic pain from an injury caused by her son.

Representatives of the Buried Alive Project note that Martin obtained her GED within a year of entering prison, at the age of 60. A progress report from the U.S. Department of Justice dated July 23, 2018 notes that Martin has also completed a variety of courses, including insurance investment, tutor training, administrative assistance training and keyboarding. She has turned in certificates of completion for courses at Pierpont Community & Technical College. She was also named to the President’s List at Pierpoint for the 2010 Spring semester.

She has never received disciplinary infractions for behavior in her time at FCI-Aliceville.

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