Amy Ralston Povah
Founder, Amy Povah, started CAN-DO because she is well versed on the topic of clemency and injustices associated with the drug war.  She speaks out on cases of injustice that involve the conspiracy law as a means to indict women based on their association or proximity to drug activity that holds them responsible for the actions of others, who often strike a deal and receive less time than the least culpable members of the “conspiracy.”

Amy Povah was 28 years old when federal agents burst into her home and demanded that she either cooperate with their investigation into her then-husband, Sandy Pofahl’s illegal operation to manufacture ecstasy, or face an indictment for conspiracy that would mandate a sentence of 20 years to Life. A lawyer explained to Amy that her cooperation would require that she wear a wire and help the feds infiltrate Sandy’s organization. She refused and as a result, the feds lived out their promise to “destroy her life.” After two years of harassment, Amy was indicted for “conspiracy” and flown to Waco, Texas where she was denied bail and had to wait one year to go to trial with a public defender.

Pofahl, the kingpin, served 4 years in Germany for violating the law in that country, but the United States gave him only 3 years probation in a plea bargain for his cooperation. Essentially, Amy received a 24-year sentence based on the entire amount of ecstasy that Sandy manufactured because she collected bail money at Sandy’s request after his arrest.

For her final appeal, Amy collected six affidavits from co-defendants who each swore that they did not believe Amy was involved in the conspiracy for which she was charged. Even Sandy Pofahl asserted that she had not been involved until after he’d been arrested. These affidavits completely refuted the government’s misleading charge to the jury that Amy had been involved from the conspiracy’s inception. The Court denied Amy’s valid appeal without so much as an explanation.  Read more about her case.

Once in prison, Amy never stopped fighting for her freedom. She was able to attract the attention of several media sources that reported on the injustice of her case. Scripps Howard, Canadian Broadcasting, and the Sun Valley Times were just a few. In 1999, Glamour Magazine featured a six-page article by David France that created much attention, and as a result, Court TV followed up with a documentary. Amy launched a massive letter-writing campaign from her cell that was joined by many friends, loved ones and activists inspired by Amy’s story. As a result, seventeen members of the House and Senate wrote letters in support of Amy’s clemency to Roger Adams. The spirit of justice prevailed when President Clinton granted Amy’s clemency on July 7th, 2000 and she was set free.
Their Work in TNS

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