Amy was incarcerated in 1991 for crimes she
did not commit. The Free Amy Campaign is pleased to
announce that President Clinton gave her executive
clemency on July 7, 2000, after 9 years in prison.
FREE AT LAST!
age 37, sentenced to 24 years,
Released July 7, 2000, after 9 years in
charged with conspiracy to import and distribute MDMA
(ecstasy), money laundering
June 1999. "Jailed Unjustly: Does This Woman Deserve to
Be Locked Up for 24 Years?"
Featured in Shattered
Lives: Portaits from America's Drug War.
"If the laws do not change, I will spend
the majority of my adult life in prison.
"Is that fair to me, my family or the
taxpayer? Who does it benefit? Please investigate my case
and others. Vote to change these unjust laws." -- Amy
Doing hard time for her husband's crime:
The Amy Pofahl Story
Amy's husband was Charles "Sandy" Pofahl, a graduate of
Stanford Law School, successful Dallas businessman, and
twenty years her senior. They were married for a few years,
until she could no longer handle his alcohol problem.
In 1989, they had been separated for a year and Amy had
her own promotional company, Prime Time, in Los Angeles,
when her nightmare began. She found out that her estranged
husband had been arrested in Germany for manufacturing and
distributing ecstasy (MDMA). He mistakenly thought it was
legal there at the time. Some of the ecstasy was traced to
the US market.
Amy went about helping her husband out during his early
confinement and trial. As a result, she also became a target
of the US government. "Federal agents promised that if I
refused to help them gain the information against my
husband, they would destroy my life. This they did."
Friends and business clients of her thriving, new company
were intimidated by agents. The agents told people that Amy
was a drug dealer and associating with her would get them in
trouble. Then, Amy was arrested and charged with conspiracy
to commit the crimes previously attributed to her husband
and his co-defendants. She was also accused of money
Amy refused to plea bargain or 'cooperate' in giving
information that she didn't have. On top of that, she was
misinformed about her rights by her court-appointed
attorney, who failed to present certain evidence or call
witnesses in her case, as she requested. Further, the
prosecutor was able to move the trial to Waco, Texas where
the judge's court was reputed to have a 100 percent
Her husband received a six year prison sentence in
Germany, of which he served four. Amy was handed a 24-year
sentence for his crimes and incarcerated in 1991. She
launched a series of appeals and finally exhausted all her
"So much for keeping the streets free of criminals by
demanding harsh mandatory minimums, because every single
person who pled and was guilty in my case was handed his
freedom in exchange for testimony.
"I can only speak for myself, but I am a witness to the
type of women this drug war has attacked and victimized, and
most do not belong in prison. If laws do not change, I will
spend the majority of my adult life in prison. Is that fair
to me, my family or the taxpayer? Who does it benefit?
Please investigate my case and others. Visit a federal
institution and witness for yourself who is filling these
overcrowded prisons. You will be shocked. Please vote to
change these unjust laws."
Working from behind bars, Amy never lost hope and kept in
contact with people on the outside, including Families
Against Mandatory Minimums. The outrageous injustice of her
case caused public outrage and drew media coverage. Her case
was prominently featured at the premiere presentation of the
Human Rights and the Drug War
exhibiti at a United Nations commemorative event in San
Francisco in 1995. Amy is pictured on the cover and her
story discussed in the books Shattered
Lives: Portraits From America's Drug Warand
Human Rights and the US Drug
War. It drew coverage in Glamour
magazine and Court TV.
In January, 1999 a support commitee called the Free Amy
Campaign was formed to work to Free Amy Pofahl. The campaign
not only helped draw media to Amy's case, but it also used
the Internet and postcards to publicize her situation.
Numerous organizations lobbied on her behalf, and respected
attorney Dale Bumpers lent his weight to the effort.
Finally, after nine years in prison, President Clinton gave
her a long overdue executive clemency on July 7, 2000.
Although Amy is now freed, it does not erase the
injustice she endured. Worse yet, there are many thousands
of others who are still unjustly held behind bars who still
need your help. As Amy's case shows, there is hope. Help
turn the tide.
Free Amy Pofahl
c/o Human Rights and
the Drug War
PO Box 1716, El Cerrito CA 94530 USA
End the Drug War
Read about Amy Pofahl and others in the provocative new
book by Mikki Norris, Chris Conrad & Virginia Resner,
Shattered Lives, Portraits
From America's Drug War. ISBN 0-9639754-3-9,
$19.95 + $3.95 s&h. Available from Creative Xpressions.
PO Box 1716, El Cerrito CA 94530. Toll Free Order Line: