Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam yesterday granted clemency to Michael Lacey and ten other current or former Tennessee residents. Attorney Ben Raybin represented Mr. Lacey with his clemency petition.
Ben Raybin, a Nashville criminal defense lawyer, expressed his appreciation for Gov. Haslam’s decision to pardon Mr. Lacey:
“On behalf of Mr. Lacey, we greatly appreciate the careful attention of Gov. Haslam and his staff to our clemency application,” Mr. Raybin said. “A governor’s clemency power is an important part of our justice system that recognizes forgiveness and second chances. Mr. Lacey has been a model citizen for over twenty years and could not be more deserving of this opportunity.”
A Long Road to Clemency
In 1996, Mr. Lacey was convicted of a single non-violent drug offense in Rutherford County. He has no other convictions on his record.
For more than twenty years, Mr. Lacey has excelled in his career and received various technical certifications, according to a statement from the governor’s office. He is now the IT manager for a Tampa corporation.
Gov. Haslam said he was happy to grant clemency to Mr. Lacey and others like him.
“These individuals have made positive contributions to their communities and deserve pardons, or are individuals who will receive another chance to become contributing members of society by virtue of their commutations,” Gov. Haslam said in a press release.
But the road to a pardon was not an easy one. As an experienced Nashville criminal lawyer, Mr. Raybin has seen how difficult it can be for deserving applicants to obtain a pardon or commutation. He told Fox 17 News Nashville in an interview yesterday that 98 percent of Tennessee clemency applications never make it to the governor’s office because the parole board summarily denies them.
In-Depth Understanding of Pardons in Tennessee
Mr. Raybin is extremely familiar with clemency in Tennessee, having published a 2016 article in the Tennessee Bar Journal entitled “Pardon Me: How Executive Clemency Works in Tennessee (and How It Doesn’t).” This article, which was selected as the most outstanding of the year, explains the law and process regarding clemency and found that grants are extremely rare. Tennessee governors have historically reserved action until the very end of their terms, which is now what we are seeing from outgoing governor Bill Haslam.
Contact Our Nashville Criminal Lawyers
The attorneys at Raybin & Weissman, P.C. extend their congratulations to Mr. Lacey and his family. We couldn’t be more pleased with this conclusion to our valued client’s case.
Mr. Raybin and his colleagues at Raybin & Weissman, P.C. understand how important a pardon or commutation can be for the firm’s clients. That’s why we apply our in-depth knowledge and experience to each of our clients’ cases. We work tirelessly to get them the results they need.