Freed June 23, 2023

Incarcerated 10 years, 7 months, 2 days

In 2016, Bernard Forrest was sentenced to life in prison for drug offenses, but shortly after that, the law changed and his sentence became illegal. Mr. Forrest filed his own motion laying out how the new law applied to him, and even argued it himself in court, but a judge told him he was wrong. In 2021, IPNO’s Unjust Punishment Project filed a very similar motion to the one he had filed. This time, the judge listened and agreed that Mr. Forrest had been right all along. Mr. Forrest was resentenced and was granted parole in May 2023. He walked out of prison on June 23, 2023, after nearly 11 years incarcerated.

Sometimes people in prison know the law better than a lawyer or a judge, but they have to do more to be heard than a lawyer would. If the judge had listened to Mr. Forrest he might have been home years earlier.