Pro Bono Client Obtains Significant Resentencing in Domestic Violence Case

March 15, 2021

S&C client Tanisha Davis, a survivor of severe domestic violence, has become one of the first women released from prison under the landmark Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA). This 2019 Act allows domestic violence survivors to apply for reduced sentences that take into account the context of their abuse. On March 9, the S&C team representing Tanisha secured her release from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women with a reduced sentence of time served, and on March 15 Tanisha walked out of prison after serving eight years. Tanisha is the first domestic violence survivor to be resentenced under the DVSJA in Monroe County. 

Tanisha was convicted in 2013 of manslaughter after stabbing her long-time abuser during an incident of domestic violence. S&C persuaded the judge to apply the DVSJA to reduce Tanisha's 14-year sentence by six years. As a result, Tanisha is free to return home to her mother and 15-year-old son.

S&C began representing Tanisha more than five years ago on her direct appeal, and the team has volunteered more than 3,000 hours to her representation. Of her experience with S&C, Tanisha says, “I appreciate the dedication and time and effort you put in to get me to this point. Without you all, I would still be here [in prison] fighting a battle I may never have won.” Tanisha's S&C team was led by Angela Ellis, Steve Hsieh, Cari Jeffries, Madeline Jenks, and legal assistants Sadie LoGerfo-Olsen and Allie Williams, with guidance from Nic Bourtin.