Profile of Anthony Papa, the only person to have received clemency and a pardon in New York state

Socialist Worker has a profile of Anthony Papa of the Drug Policy Alliance. He has a book out about his experiences after being released from prison, where he served a sentence for a drug crime that he'd been entrapped into committing. The book is called This Side of Freedom: Life After Clemency.


On January 24, 1985, Anthony Papa, a young radio and auto repair worker, was entrapped in a bust planned by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Papa, in his late 20s, was living in the Bronx with his wife and young daughter, and struggling to provide for his family. Down on his luck, he took a chance to make some quick cash by delivering a package of cocaine to nearby Westchester County. When Papa handed over the package to two undercover narcotics officers, he was arrested. Papa was found guilty and sentenced to two 15-years-to-life sentences under the Rockefeller Drug Laws, with their mandated minimum sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug crimes.