The Exile Nation Project - Former Federal prisoner Amy Ralston Povah

In 1991 Amy Ralson Povah was sentenced to 24 years in Federal prison for a crime she did not commit. An incredible look inside the ruthless and craven nature of the DEA and US Department of Justice.
Charles Shaw
19 June 2011

The Land of the Free punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America’s criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs; a failed policy underscored by fear, politics, racial prejudice and intolerance in a public atmosphere of "out of sight, out of mind.

This complete two-part interview is #3 of 100 in The Exile Nation Project's archive, which can be found on ExileNation.org.


Think the innocent don't get sent to prison? Think again.

In 1991 Amy Ralston Povah was sentenced to 24 years in Federal prison. Her only crime was being divorced from an alleged "drug kingpin."

In this two-part interview, Amy relays the horrors of her arrest and prosecution, the 9 years she spent in prison, and her long and arduous journey to eventually win clemency in 2000 from President Clinton.

In this excerpt, former Federal prisoner Amy Ralston Povah describes the helplessness a Federal defendant feels when being churned through the rigged Federal criminal justice system.

In this excerpt, Amy & Director Charles Shaw discuss the hidden, but not-so-secret, history of the CIAs involvement in the drug trade, and the craven nature of the DEA.

Amy is the Founder and Director of CAN-DO, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit foundation that advocates Clemency for All Non-violent Drug Offenders, a group that advocates for people that have been wrongfully or unjustly convicted in drug "conspiracy" cases. "The repercussions of a single injustice spread unnecessary suffering to all the innocent family members and friends. Moreover, the impact on a child that loses a parent – especially a mother – to incarceration yields horrible consequences and perpetrates a vicious cycle of negative behavioral patterns." (source: CAN-DO)


How can Americans fight dark money and disinformation?

Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

Hear from leading global experts and commentators on what the new president and Congress must do to stem the flood of dark money and misinformation that is warping politics around the world.

Join us on Thursday 21 January, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

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