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Gov. Whitmer commutes sentences for 4 men after recommendation by Michigan Parole Board

Posted at 2:33 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 05:54:53-05

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer granted four requests for clemency after reviewing applications and recommendations by the Michigan Parole Board.

“As a former prosecutor, I recognize how critical it is to take steps toward a smarter and more equitable justice system," Whitmer said in a press release. "Over the last two years, we’ve worked with leaders on both sides of the aisle to make tremendous progress to give people a second chance, from reforming civil asset forfeiture to becoming a national leader on expungement. These commutations offer a second chance to four individuals who have accepted responsibility and paid their debts to society and whose sentences span decades for non-violent offenses. We still have a lot of work to do, but today is a step in the right direction, and I’m confident that Michigan can continue to be a national leader in smart justice.”

Michael Thompson, Lawrence Cadroy, Lorenzo Garrett, and Larry McGhee have received commutations for their non-violent sentences.

A commutation reduces an individual's sentence to a specified term, but does not nullify the underlying conviction. All four individuals have received a commutation that makes them immediately eligible for parole consideration and subsequent release consistent with state law.

To receive a pardon or commutation, an individual must file an application with the Michigan Parole Board. The applications are reviewed by the parole board on a case-by-case basis. Once an application has met the criteria for recommendation, it is sent to the governor’s office for review and a final determination.

  • Michael Thompson was sentenced on May 31, 1996 to 40-60 years in prison for firearms possession by a felon. He served 22 years on a sentence that was scheduled for an earliest release date of 2038.
  • Lawrence Cadroy was sentenced on March 30, 1999 to life in prison for drug possession. He served 21 years on a sentence that was scheduled for an earliest release date of 2030.
  • Lorenzo Garrett was sentenced on May 5, 1999 to 29-170 years in prison for selling drugs. He served 22 years on a sentence that was scheduled for an earliest release date of 2027.
  • Larry McGhee was sentenced on July 1, 2004 to 20-30 years in prison for selling drugs. He served 16 years on a sentence that was scheduled for an earliest release date of 2024.