Tag Archives: commutation


Today, two women who took part in our documentary are getting their first commutation hearings. Tracey Dyess and Yvette Louisell will both go in front of the Iowa Board of Parole.  When we were back in Iowa during April, we were able to meet with both Tracey and Yvette at ICIW.  Tracey Dyess has a 45-year sentence, with a 17-year mandatory and has served 6 years.  Yvette Louisell has a life without parole sentence and has served 23-years.  Both women come from similar backgrounds of abuse and trauma.  Both came to prison when they were 17.

Tracey Dyess, April 2011

The commutation process, from what we know, is a very long and difficult process. Both women will meet with the Board of Parole for anywhere from 30-minutes to 2-hours. If the Board reaches a unanimous decision, they will then submit the information to the Governor with their recommendation for commutation. Governor Bransted then has 3 months to make a decision. Even with a unanimous decision by the Board of Parole, the Governor does not have to commute a sentence.  Applicants with a life without parole sentence must wait 10-years before they can again try for commutation.

Governor Bransted has only been in office since January.  Most Governors tend to grant commutations when they are exiting office, as it can be detrimental to their career in office, especially if they are looking for re-election.  When Governor Culver left office, he commuted the sentences of two inmates.  Since Governor Bransted took office, commutation hearings have been on hold and these are the first of his term.

We hope for a positive outcome for both Tracey and Yvette.

Yvette Louisell and Noga (Director), April 2011

The Grey Area Trailer


Support Yvette Louisell

On July 15th, Yvette Louisell (#0805144)  will be going in front of the parole board for her first commutation hearing.

In your letters, please emphasize that Yvette was 17 at the time of her crime, that she is remorseful for the terrible consequences of her actions, that both her judge and prosecutor support her release, and that she has worked very hard throughout her incarceration to grow, learn, and become a better person.

If you would like to send a letter in support of Yvette’s commutation, you can send letters to the following address:

Iowa Board of Parole
510 E. 12th St., Suite 3
Des Moines, IA 50319

Governor Terry Branstad
Office of the Governor
State Capitol Building
Des Moines, IA  50319