From 2019 through 2021, Gilbert LLP represented a client who at 17 years old was accused of involvement in a murder. At the time of the alleged crime, our client was living in what was then a heavily segregated, high-crime area of Washington D.C. Our client was, even according to the Government’s contentions at the time, not the person who planned or committed the murder, but was merely in the presence of the perpetrator. Like many, he lacked adequate legal representation after his initial arrest and, despite his lack of direct involvement, was sentenced to up to life in federal prison.
Our client had already served nearly 40 years in prison when Gilbert became involved. We immediately began preparing a Motion for Resentencing under D.C.’s Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (the “IRAA”), which allows for resentencing of individuals convicted of crimes occurring while they were under 18 (eligibility was recently expanded to crimes allegedly committed while under 25).
As we drafted the Motion, our client was informed that he would be eligible for parole. Gilbert represented him in these proceedings as well. After several rounds of written and oral advocacy before the Parole Commission, which included in-person representation, we secured his release. Within months, he was able to reunite with his now-elderly mother after nearly four decades of separation.
Despite this success, our client was initially required by the Parole Commission to live in a halfway house. When that facility experienced a dangerous COVID-19 outbreak, Gilbert attorneys worked to secure our client’s release, enabling him to live at home safely and support his elderly mother.
Gilbert LLP is currently engaged in representation of two other pro bono clients under the IRAA, and regularly engages in in-person and virtual representation assisting others going through the complex parole process, allying with non-profit organizations such as the Washington Lawyers’ Committee and the Second Look Project.