Life After Life

Sean Ryon

This Former Inmate Fights for Others' Freedom from Life Sentences

“We just were people who made a bad decision at one time. It shouldn’t cost us the rest our life in there."

Jason Hernandez never thought he would see the outside world again.

Since 1998, he had been serving a life sentence in federal prison for selling crack cocaine in his native McKinney, Texas. It was his first criminal offense, but due to the Drug Act of 1986 and the mandatory minimum sentences it required, Hernandez found himself locked up at the age of 21. Then, in 2013, his prayers and petitions were answered: He was granted clemency by President Obama.

Watch the video above and see how Hernandez uses Crack Open the Door, his sentencing advocacy nonprofit, to spotlight and fight for the release of other first-time nonviolent drug offenders serving life without parole.

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