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Clemency

Dear Governor Beebe: Please Bring Belynda Home for the Holidays

Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg | Posted 11.25.2014 | Crime
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg

To the police, Belynda wasn't a victim. She wasn't a stunned and grieving widow with three children. She was a suspect. No, she was worse. In their eyes, she was the perpetrator.

Death by Imprisonment: America's War on Melanin Possession and the Indigent

MiAngel Cody | Posted 08.03.2014 | Politics
MiAngel Cody

Although the 1986 overdose death of 11-year-old Reynolds Allen Wintersmith Jr.'s mother, unlike that of all-American basketball standout Len Bias that same year, did not thrust our nation's legislators into reactive political pandemonium, the federal drug-sentencing policies of that year would later impact this motherless son's life in a most damning and undeniable way.

Expanded Clemency Program Deserves Bipartisan Support

Inimai Chettiar | Posted 08.02.2014 | Politics
Inimai Chettiar

Until Congress passes bills like Rob Portman's Second Chance Reauthorization Act, or the bipartisan Smarter Sentencing Act, we'll remain a long way off from a fair, effective criminal justice system.

Criminal Injustice

Rep. John Conyers | Posted 07.21.2014 | Politics
Rep. John Conyers

For decades, Congress has implemented policies that distort America's criminal justice system and tip the scales of justice in favor of punishment over rehabilitation. As a matter of civil rights and basic justice, our criminal justice system must change.

2,785 Petitioners for Clemency Need All of the Mercy Obama Can Give

Megan Quattlebaum | Posted 07.15.2014 | Politics
Megan Quattlebaum

The clemency power is not an invention of an activist president but a guarantee of Article II of the United States Constitution.

A Glimmer Of Hope For Man Sentenced To Life On A Non-Violent Drug Crime

CNN | Posted 04.27.2014 | Crime

"I did not really realize I was getting life until the date of sentencing. When my attorney told me, I told him that I wanted to take back my guilty p...

Friday Talking Points - Seven More Amendments

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.25.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

There were two political stampedes this week, both towards and then back away from the same man: rancher Cliven Bundy. So, at least for the spectators, it was an amusing week in politics.

Ryan J. Reilly

DOJ Gears Up For Massive Obama Clemency Push

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 04.24.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department has dramatically expanded the criteria for federal inmates eligible for presidential clemency and is preparing to...

Obama Clemency Plan for Drug Law Offenders Is Welcome News

Anthony Papa | Posted 06.22.2014 | Politics
Anthony Papa

As someone who received executive clemency from the governor of New York in 1997, I know personally the power of such an extraordinary act of mercy to people who have already served enormous amounts of time imprisoned under unjust drug laws.

Battered Women Behind Bars

Julie Flynn Badal | Posted 05.13.2014 | Arts
Julie Flynn Badal

At the time of their trials, the legal system had little understanding of the Battered Spouse Syndrome and did not allow evidence of ongoing abuse to be presented to the judge and jury. As a result, these women were harshly convicted with life sentences.

Narcotic Sentencing's Long Arc and Obama's Year of Action

Mark Osler | Posted 04.28.2014 | Politics
Mark Osler

For the first time since Bill Clinton famously wandered through the press cabin in Air Force One asking, "You got anybody you wanna pardon?", a president is actively seeking candidates to have their sentences shortened. Unlike Clinton, Obama is asking the question seriously.

Dear Low Level, Non-Violent Drug Prisoners: Please File for Clemency

Steven Brill | Posted 04.05.2014 | Crime
Steven Brill

Although 2014 is only weeks old, the Obama administration is making good on its promise to use the power of the executive branch to advance the President's policy agenda when Congress will not, or is slow to, act.

Justice Department Points To Major Drug Policy Reform

AP | Posted 01.30.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Thursday asked lawyers around the country to help some drug prisoners prepare petitions for clemency, a ...

Three Executive Actions Obama Can Take to Rein in the Drug War

Sam Tracy | Posted 04.01.2014 | Politics
Sam Tracy

If Obama doesn't want to take the political risk that such a mass pardoning may bring, he could at least start with the most heinous cases, like the many people serving life sentences for as little as cocaine residue in a clothing pocket.

A Whistleblower's Wish for Edward Snowden

Jeremiah Horrigan | Posted 03.21.2014 | Politics
Jeremiah Horrigan

Let a jury hear a man speak from his conscience, let them recognize the risk he's taken to speak to them and let that jury compare his words and actions to a government that will insist he's nothing more than a common criminal.

Will Gov. Cuomo Use His Clemency Powers in 2013?

Anthony Papa | Posted 02.16.2014 | New York
Anthony Papa

Since he has been in office, Cuomo has yet to use these powers and has not granted anyone any type of relief despite hundreds and hundreds of applications.

Clemency Reform: We're Still Waiting

Julie Stewart | Posted 09.18.2013 | Crime
Julie Stewart

A year ago, The Washington Post and ProPublica reported that the Obama administration was set to reverse its poor record on clemency. It didn't happen. Since winning reelection, President Obama has not commuted a single sentence.

Daily Camera: Hickenlooper Should Grant Dunlap Clemency

The Boulder Daily Camera | | Posted 07.06.2013 | Denver

If Gov. John Hickenlooper does not grant clemency, Nathan Dunlap is scheduled to be executed by the state of Colorado the week of Aug. 18. The so-cal...

Man To Walk 600 Miles For Innocent Prisoners

www.takepart.com | Posted 04.26.2013 | Impact

Clemency is a failsafe for system failure. It’s a power held by governors and presidents to fix mistakes, to clean up when the courts get it wrong a...

Any Hope Left for Clarence Aaron?

Julie Stewart | Posted 05.08.2013 | Politics
Julie Stewart

Clarence Aaron has been in prison for 20 years and the president has the power to order him released tomorrow. It is way past time for Clarence Aaron's mother to live on more than the thin gruel of hope dished out by the president.

WATCH: Melissa Harris-Perry Criticizes Obama By Way Of Turkey Pardon

Posted 11.25.2012 | Media

Melissa Harris-Perry criticized Obama on her Saturday MSNBC show by discussing his pardon of Cobbler the turkey for Thanksgiving. In her signature ...

Ask Now About the Pardon Power

Mark Osler | Posted 11.21.2012 | Politics
Mark Osler

In the debates, there will be no shortage of questions about the economy, health care, foreign policy, and immigration. There ought to be time for at least one question that asks about this vestigial power of kings to grant mercy, which will rest uneasily in the hands of the election's victor.

Now's Really the Time for President Obama to Grant Clemency to Jonathan Pollard

Steven Kurlander | Posted 04.17.2012 | Politics
Steven Kurlander

This week, a group of Americans and Israelis are visiting South Florida and asking assistance to gain the release of Jonathan Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst and American Jew sentenced to life in 1986 for passing classified intelligence information to Israel.

She was an inmate. I was a suburbanite. We were never supposed to be friends.

Joan Gelman | Posted 04.09.2012 | Women
Joan Gelman

She was an inmate. I was a suburbanite. We were never supposed to be friends.

Pardoning Criminals -- Appropriate Mercy or Perverting Justice?

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 03.19.2012 | Crime
Bennett L. Gershman

In a day when so many miscarriages of justice have been exposed, particularly by way of indisputable proof of actual innocence, the guidelines for pardons should be far more stringent.