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August 02, 2022
As part of its series of pro bono cases seeking reductions of excessive sentences, Cadwalader secured the release of Lamar Redfern, a native of Charlotte who had served almost 21 years of a 58-year sentence he received for crimes he committed when he was just 21 years old.
Even though no one was injured, Mr. Redfern received a near-life-sentence based on three convictions for displaying a firearm while committing a felony, and a now-obsolete sentencing structure that failed to differentiate between individuals who reoffend after prior convictions and those who, like Mr. Redfern, are convicted of multiple counts in a single proceeding. Under today’s laws, as revised by the First Step Act, Mr. Redfern would have received a 22-year sentence, which he would have completed last year due to credit received for good conduct.
After Mr. Redfern's motion for a sentence reduction was initially denied, Cadwalader moved for reconsideration based on evidence of rehabilitation that had not previously been considered by the Court. Judge Max O. Cogburn of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina held a hearing on June 13, and last week granted Cadwalader’s motion and reduced Mr. Redfern's sentence to time served – an effective sentence reduction of more than three decades. Reflecting on his release, Mr. Redfern stated, “I will never forget how [Cadwalader's] representation has impacted my life and gave me a second chance to live a productive, successful life with my family and friends.” His mother, Ms. Anita Redfern, also expressed her “deepest thanks” to Cadwalader, reflecting that “[w]ords cannot express how much it means to the Redfern family to be reunited with Lamar.”
The Cadwalader team included partners Anne Tompkins and Jon Watkins, litigation associate Chad Lee, paralegal Katherine Cassidy-Whitaker, and summer associate Cara Shelhamer.