Renate Bouwmeester (LL.M.) studied ‘Management, Economics and Law’ in Enschede, The Netherlands. After she graduated she started working as an administrative law jurist at a municipality. This is still her current job. After graduating her study in Enschede Renate started a Master degree in criminal law at the Open University. For years, she combined her work and her study. In 2017, Renate graduated in criminal law as well.
Renate has been writing with Clinton Young for over a decade, starting in 2008. What started as personal research for a study assignment, resulted in a long-term friendship. Renate initially started writing Clinton as part of her research for a study assignment; investigating what it was like being in prison, being on death row. She found Clinton on a penpal website, and send him a letter. Many more would follow. Renate has visited Clinton countless times on death row in Texas. Renate is a strong opposer of the death penalty. Visiting Clinton on death row made Renate realize she wanted to do more for death row inmates. In 2013, Renate worked for two law firms specialized in capital punishment in New Orleans, The United States. During her time there, Renate worked on numerous capital cases and she did important work for the clients on death row.
After years of writing with Clinton, Renate decided that Clinton’s story needed to be shared with others. So in 2014, Renate contacted the Dutch documentary filmmaker Jessica Villerius with the request to make a documentary about the death penalty in the United States, specifically about Clinton Young’s case. Jessica Villerius immediately became interested in Clinton’s case. This resulted in Jessica’s documentary ‘Code Red: The Death Penalty’, which was aired on Dutch television at the end of 2014.
In 2016, Jessica made a follow-up on this documentary. ‘Deal with Death’ was aired on Dutch television in April 2017. As a researcher for this documentary, Renate has been closely involved in the making of the documentary.
In 2014, Renate established the Clinton Young Foundation. After the first documentary came out, there was a lot of attention for Clinton’s case. People were offering their help and their money. In order to regulate all that professionally, a foundation needed to be established.