President Obama Grants Clemency to FPD-CDCA Client Keldren Joshua
In 2014, the Department of Justice, under the Obama Administration, announced the Clemency Initiative, which invited petitions for commutation of sentence from nonviolent offenders who were convicted of drug offenses. In August 2016, Deputy Federal Public Defender Andre J. Townsend successfully secured a grant of clemency for his client, Keldren Joshua. Mr. Joshua was a low-level, non-violent drug offender who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine. Pursuant to President Obama’s grant of his clemency petition, Joshua was released after serving 10 years of his sentence.
While preparing Keldren’s petition, Andre was inspired by Keldren’s work history and minimal criminal history. After meeting Mr. Joshua, Andre was moved by the significant family and community support that Mr. Joshua received despite serving ten years in prison. Immediately upon his release, Keldren secured a job at a boutique shoe store in Santa Monica, California, and he resumed his goal of serving as a DJ in different venues throughout Los Angeles. To date, Andre continues to encourage Mr. Joshua and and support his transition.
The news story about Keldren’s clemency grant can be viewed here.