A clemency case handled by a Ballard Spahr LLP attorney is the subject of a documentary that won an Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
Attorney Marjorie J. Peerce, a while-collar defense partner in the firm’s New York office, was in charge of a team that handled a clemency petition for Cindy Shank, a pro bono client who sentenced to 15 years in prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug-related offense, according to a press release.
The documentary, “The Sentence”, is about Shank’s incarceration, its impact on her three daughters and the family’s efforts to lobby for sentencing reform. It is directed by first-time filmmaker Rudy Valdez, Shank’s brother. Valdez began making the film as a way to record his nieces’ childhoods while Shank was in prison, according to the release
The documentary also has a deal with HBO for U.S. television and streaming rights, Variety reported.
Peerce also appears in the film and was a part of a working group that created Clemency Project 2014, a reform effort under the Obama administration that addressed mandatory sentencing laws of the 1990s and 2000s.
More than 100 Ballard Spahr attorneys represented pro bono clients as part of Clemency Project 2014. It filed petitions for 81 clients, of which 29 were granted, the firm said.