NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) –  On Thursday, Governor Bill Lee announced executive clemency decisions for 17 offenders who have demonstrated a successful path to rehabilitation, according to a release from the governor’s office.

“After reviewing the unique merits of each case, I have made the decision to grant these individuals executive clemency,” said Gov. Lee. “These men and women have shown they are ready for productive lives beyond their sentences, and I appreciate the Board of Parole’s consideration in this process.”

Executive Clemency Grants

  • Adam Braseel of Grundy County – Executive Action: Exoneration
  • Brandon Benson of Anderson County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Nathaniel Boyd of Shelby County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Relerford Brown of Fentress County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Charles Diffie of South Carolina – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Zenobia Dobson of Knox County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Michael Graham of Perry County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Tina Jackson of Haywood County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Eugene Lee of Florida – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Quantel Lindsey of Georgia – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Jasbir Mann of Massachusetts – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Kevin Nunley of Bedford County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Charles Sanderfur of Davidson County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Kenney Simpson of Sullivan County – Executive Action: Pardon
  • Mindy Dodd of Rutherford County – Executive Action: Commutation to immediate parole eligibility
  • Jamie Grimes of Davidson County – Executive Action: Commutation to immediate parole eligibility
  • Charles Hall of Shelby County – Executive Action: Commutation to parole eligibility upon completing certain programming

Proclamations granting individuals clemency can be viewed here. Executive clemency decisions are made in consultation with the Tennessee Board of Parole, which issues non-binding recommendations for each case.

The 3 types of executive clemency:

Exoneration: a finding by the governor that an applicant did not commit the crime for which he or she was convicted

Pardon: an official statement of forgiveness of an offense, typically granted to an applicant who completed his or her sentence more than 5 years ago and who has demonstrated good cause for forgiveness

Commutation: a reduction in an applicant’s sentence

Additional information on executive clemency can be found here.

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Governor Lee’s office also announced a new clemency review process with the Tennessee Department of Correction for drug-free school zone offenses committed prior to September 1, 2020.

This action follows legislation passed in the 2020 legislative session to reduce the school zone radius to 500 feet and to allow stiffer penalties only where vulnerable populations, such as children, were exposed to illicit drug activity.

The new process expedited the review of convictions for those sentenced under prior Tennessee law to determine whether they merit consideration for a review of their sentence under the new law. There are currently 335 individuals incarcerated for drug-free school zone offenses committed prior to September 1, 2020.

To qualify, individuals must not have been involved in the sale or distribution to a minor or have incurred a drug-related disciplinary infraction within the past three years, including positive drug screens or dismissal from a treatment program.

Individuals who meet the qualifying criteria may apply here.