Monday, May 25, 2015

Guyana: 60 Pardons

It is reported that, David Granger, the President of Guyana is "expected to pardon at least 60 prisoners between the ages of 18 and 25] when Guyana celebrates its 49th anniversary of political independence from Britain."

Dumb? Odd, you say? Unacceptable?

Well, here is what Granger says:
“I believe that young people should be in school, not in jail and I have asked that emphasis be placed on young persons and for petty non-violent offences and sentences of short duration. You have a man in jail for stealing a cellphone, go thy way and sin no more. The offences are really petty. I hope that they get back in school, get to work and get on with their lives. They don’t belong in jail, they belong in school, at home with their families and being happy,” 
Among those who will not be included in the group are those convicted for crimes of violence. See story here.

Oklahoma: Paperwork Disaster

In 1981, David Johns and two other men robbed and fatally shot a 68-year-old retired grocer, in front of his home. There was a dispute about who actually pulled the trigger, but Johns and another were convicted of murder.

It is said that, as a prisoner, Johns has "worked his odd jobs, obeyed the rules, and tried to keep his head down" for two decades. Indeed, he has zero disciplinary marks over the last decade. When Johns presented his case before the State's five-member parole board it recommended parole four times. Finally, in 2010, Gov. Brad Henry also approved. It looked like it was a done deal.

Then, the state official charged with filing the necessary paperwork failed to do so. In stepped Henry's successor, Mary Fallin and, amazingly, Gov. Fallin, reversed Henry's decision!

In 2013, the parole board unanimously recommended release for the 55-year old Johns, once again, but Gov. Fallin rejected the recommendation. See story here.

Missouri: Life for Pot Commutation

Governor Jay Nixon has commuted the sentence of Jeffrey Mizanskey, who, in 1996, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for drug possession. It is reported that the commutation "makes Mizanskey eligible for parole immediately." But the Governor says that Mizanskey must still "demonstrate that he deserves" mercy. See story here.

California: A Great Pardon Story

The Orange County Register has a wonderful story on a recent pardon case in California. In 1994, Henry E. Irvin was looking at a ten year prison sentence for threatening a woman. He always disputed how far the incident went, but felt fortunate to be able to plead out a sentence of a mere six months. After a violation of parole, Irwin spend over two years in prison before being released in 1997.

But what really were his odds if making something out of himself? How long would it really be before he was right back in prison? Irvin was convicted of robbery at age 13 and spent a considerable amount of time in "juvenile hall." A former employer there said of him, "one of the worst kids we had in custody ... he had little respect for authority and got into fights all the time,”

A counselor with the California Youth Authority enrolled Irvin in Fullerton College. He then Kansas Wesleyan University where he graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. And then:
Irvin didn’t have money for a lawyer to help him submit the pardon application, so he spent weeks in the Orange County Public Law Library figuring the paperwork out on his own. He also constantly called the state legal affairs office, never letting the staff forget him. Over the years he also enlisted the help of those he met along the way including Blair, even Tom Beamish, the then-mayor of La Habra ... Irvin applied during Arnold Schwarzenegger’s governorship and sent him a letter a day for a year, spending $200 on stamps. He never received a reply. After Brown’s appointment in 2011, Irvin has become one of the hundreds of Californians to receive the coveted certificate in the mail. Despite his efforts, another eight years went by without his hearing a word from the state ... until that April 4 phone call. Although the pardon does not expunge his record, many of Irvin’s rights, including the right to own firearms and serve on a jury, have been restored. The most important to him might be that he can possibly realize his dream job of being hired by the state as a parole or probation officer. 
See full story here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Colorado: So Many Reasons to Pardon

Wayne Thomas
The headlines don't say WAYNE THOMAS SPEAKS AT GRADUATION, or PROFESSOR SPEAKS. No, they say CONVICTED FELON SPEAKS. Welcome to the world of Wayne Thomas, a Ph.D., who recently spoke at a high school graduation ceremony.

Thomas went to prison as a 17-year old, for kidnapping and assault. So, that is where he finished his high school education. When he served his sentence, he rebuilt his life and went on to earn a doctorate in health sciences. Thomas now serves as a full-time DME coordinator providing durable medical equipment for post-surgical orthopedic patients.

Thomas seems a little defensive about the honor of speaking at a high school graduation, or at least the media reports make him appear to be so. But, really, the person who should be defensive is the Governor, John Hickenlooper.

Thomas and 160 others have asked Hickenlooper for pardons. Evidently, well informed about the neglect and bone-headed plitical calculations that many governors make, Thomas does not really expect a response to his application until the end of Hickenlooper's second term (four year from now). See story here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

RIP David Curry, Pardon Recipient.

DOJ PA Notice for David Curry
The St. Louis Post Dispatch has a fine piece on David Curry, a University of Chicago graduate and criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who was pardoned, in November of 2000. Curry's application went through the Department of Justice, the Office of the Pardon Attorney and White House in less than a year.

Amazingly, few people even knew that, in 1982,  Curry had been sentenced to 34 years in prison for distribution, conspiracy to distribute, and using a telephone to facilitate a felony in the matter of 6.2 grams of cocaine. He was a Vietnam Vet and a Captain as an intelligence officer. As he saw it, his 34 year sentence was "obviously political punishment for being vets against the war,”

Later the sentence was modified and Curry was eventually released to the custody of a professor at the University of Chicago and offered a position as interim lecturer. But administrators balked at his prison record. So, in 1994, Curry was hired by the University of Missouri-St, Louis to teach statistics and math. See full story here.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Arkansas: Three Pardons

It is reported that Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced his intent to grant two pardons and one restoration of firearms rights. In addition, Hutchinson has denied 148 clemency requests. Among the offenses granted: 1998 and 2002 convictions for Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Use of Paraphernalia to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Ephedrine Possession, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, and Manufacture of a Controlled Substance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Clinton Explains Disastrous Criminal Justice Policies

We recently noted that a former U.S. Pardon Attorney said that Bill Clinton
... did more to damage the federal justice system than any body else. And he also damaged the federal clemency system, in a very ... of course, his Justice Department contributed to that, frankly, but he certainly did his part to bring into disrepute that system.
Now that many are wondering if Hillary Clinton intends to undo/repair her husband's disastrous work, Bill has let it be known that he is OK with all that. You see, he has an explanation for his ruinous policies. In a recent interview with CNN he said:
"The problem is the way it was written and implemented we have too wide a net. We have too many people in prison. And we wound up spending -- putting so many people in prison that there wasn’t enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out that they could live productive lives."
So you have it. In his administration, the only real "problem" was that the law was 1) "written" poorly and then it was 2) "implemented" poorly. Other than those two minor hitches, there were no major complications. Certainly no one's fault. SMH

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Former U.S. Pardon Attorney Blasts Process / Project

In an appearance before a gathering at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, earlier this month, former U.S. Pardon Attorney, Margaret Colgate Love spoke candidly about the clemency process, the Department of Justice and Clemency Project 2014.

Ms. Love was Pardon Attorney during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton when the pardon process seemed to reach an all-time low in terms of functionality and relevance. Bush exercised clemency only 77 times in four years (making him one of the least merciful presidents in history). Almost half of Bush's grants came in the last month of the term. Clinton pardoned even less, in his first term (56 times), but also left the White House with a flurry of last-minutes pardons, many of which were wildly controversial.

After pointing out that she served as Pardon Attorney "for almost ten years, back in the 1990's" Love told the audience:
"I can tell you that the system for reviewing cases and for getting cases, and the kinds of considerations that we brought to bear in the Department of Justice were really pretty random."
After reminding the audience a second time that she was "in charge of the pardon process for almost ten years," Love said,
"I can tell you that the degree of secrecy and randomness and inefficiency [in the present system] is extraordinary."
As for the hope of reform, Love said that she thinks a "pop up commission" like the Ford Clemency Board was "a really good project." Last year, the Department of Justice announced that it desired to see applications for commutation of sentence which met specific guidelines. The Department also encouraged lawyers to assist applicants and provided assistance to Clemency Project 2014 . Love, however, said:
"Now working through the present sort of the privatized, second clemency system [this] new privatized pardon process, that has been set up as a parallel process, which is just as unaccountable, just as random, and just as - probably more - inefficient than the Pardon Attorney's Office ... wooo .. you know, this is a recipe for, like, not much happening. 
Re the prospects for federal executive clemency in the administration of Hillary Clinton, Love said:
"I have no feeling about how Mrs. Clinton will approach these [issues]. I have no feeling. In fact I have a little bit of a feeling that she may not be real enthusiastic about talking about criminal justice issues.  Certainly her husband, with all due respect, did more to damage the federal justice system than any body else. And he also damaged the federal clemency system, in a very ... of course, his Justice Department contributed to that, frankly, but he certainly did his part to bring into disrepute that system."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Georgia: Pardon Transparency Legislation

Gov. Deal
The Dawson News and Advertiser reports Gov. Nathan Deal will sign a legislative bill into law that " forces one of Georgia’s most secretive government agencies — The Georgia Pardons and Paroles Board — to provide the public with some information about its decision making." More specifically,
For the first time since 1953, when then Gov. Herman Talmadge signed the board’s secrecy provisions into law, the board will make available to the public a written decision when it grants a pardon, parole or commutes a death sentence, according House Bill 71, which the House and Senate passed April 2. 
Originally, the legislation asked that "all records the board used in making its decision be made public" but the language was "significantly weakened in the Senate."

It is reported that:
Georgia is one of only four states whose pardons and paroles board has the sole discretion to grant clemency. Other states are Nebraska, Nevada and Utah. 
See full story here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Delaware: Pardons!

DelawareOnline reports Gov. Jack Markell "has signed 1,569 pardons during his six-plus years in office, more than any other Delaware governor." Data suggest the record of previous governors is as follows:

1977-1984, Du Pont: 238 grants, 39 denials
1985-1992, Castle: 382 grants, 17 denials
1993-2000, Carper: 675 grants, 123 denials
2001-2008: Miner: 940 grants, 82 denials
2009/2014, Markell: 1339 grants, 887 denials

Since 1950, "the board has recommended pardons for about 85 percent of 4,800 applicants. Governors have granted 93 percent of the board-approved bids." It is reported that "the vast majority" of Markell's pardons were given to "people with minor offenses" but some went to "criminals with serious felonies. The News Journal is concerned that the state "doesn't track the progress of those who have received pardons" and "has no system to follow whether a person who receives a pardon commits another crime."

The Journal did find one Dipeshkumar Patel, who was pardoned over a prosecutor's objections in 2014 and then, later, "slammed his Mercedes-Benz sedan into a stopped car on New Castle Avenue" while driving with a blood alcohol level "more than three times the legal limit." According to the Journal, Patel:
... had pleaded guilty in 1999 to patronizing a prostitute and in 2002 and 2004 for selling alcohol to a minor. Patel also was arrested for drunken driving in 1993 and 2008 and took the first offender's program both times. He sought the pardon in 2013, Patel said, because he wanted his criminal record "to be nice and clean if you apply for a job." 
Meanwhile, it is reported that Governor Markell (who sat on the pardons board for a decade) was "unaware his pardon numbers were at historic levels." But, he insists, the "best predictor" of whether someone will re-offend is whether they have a job. He wants "to get more people employed."

Delaware has "taken other limited steps" to make it easier for citizens with a criminal record to find employment.
Legislation passed last year, and signed into law by Markell, prevents most government employers in Delaware from asking applicants about a criminal history before the first interview. The so-called "ban-the-box" measure prevents government hiring managers from initially screening applicants based on previous run-ins with the law. It still allows governments to run background checks as a condition of employment. 
Fred Calhoun, president of the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police, believes "more care is needed" to make sure pardon recipients aren't re-offending and he is concerned that businesses are being given a "false sense of security" about job applicants. Absent any hard data on the topic, he would prefer that they have a false sense of insecurity.

The piece notes "most" pardons "receive little if any public scrutiny" but the case of Wilmington "activist" Rev. Derrick D. Johnson was different. Johnson was convicted of "manslaughter, possession of a weapon during a felony, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, robbery, attempted robbery, unlawful imprisonment and carrying a concealed deadly weapon and spent "several years in prison."  Gov. Markell believed Johnson "learned from his behavior" and had lived a "productive life."

Markell agrees data on repeat offenders would not be "bad information to have," but wonders what anyone would really "do with it." As far as he is concerned, he is "not going to hold somebody else's mistake against the current applicant." See full story here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Delaware: Pardons and the Economy

A 2013 report found that almost 8 in 10 Delaware inmates "sentenced to more than a year in prison are arrested again for a serious offense within three years of their release." But the chairman of the State's Board of Pardons has the good sense to recognize that “without employment and the opportunity to live responsibly, recidivism might be even higher.” As he puts it, “It’s a vicious circle for a lot of people and one that society has not found a way to deal with effectively.”

One Wilmington attorney, Thomas A. Foley, notes “It could make a difference with human resources if the governor has recognized they they resurrected their lives and has forgiven them.”

Fred Calhoun, president of the state Fraternal Order of Police, however, has a more subtle and sophisticated solution to such basic, undeniable economic problems: “Don’t do the crime.” In sum, eternal personal and State-wide economic hardship are well deserved and, really, the only way, for all criminal offenders, big and small, reformed or not. As the old saying goes: to small kids with big hammers, everything is nails.

See more on pardons in Delaware here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Forbes: Clemency Project 2014 Profile

Forbes has an article which profiles a Clemency Project 2014 candidate, one Ignatizo “Nat” Giuliano. Giulino ...
owned and operated the Paddlewheel Queen, a paddleboat restaurant that cruised the intracoastal waterways along Ft. Lauderdale, FL in the 1980s. He had turned his life around after four drug violations in the 70s, primarily related to possession and distribution of marijuana. In addition to the business, he was married, had children and settled down. However, his business needed money so he sought financing from a man who was a nightclub owner in southern Florida, as well as leader of a sophisticated drug operation. 
The bust came in October 1990 when Nat and 15 others were arrested, one of whom was a former Broward County Court judge. By March of the following year, all but three defendants, including Nat, had pleaded guilty in exchange of a lighter sentence. Nat would be convicted at trial with testimony that came from the leaders of the drug ring. Those who cooperated received sentences of 3 years or less. Nat, as a result of the minor offenses years before and because he did not cooperate, was sentenced to Life in prison at the age of 55 years old. Now 80, and having served over 25 years in prison, Nat is hoping to regain his freedom through the Clemency Project
In 2014, Nat was "matched" with a lawyer who "has put in the hours to review the case and recently submitted an executive summary to the Project to again screen the case for its merits of receiving clemency." The file was then "approved" for "further efforts to seek clemency" so the lawyer will "prepare a formal petition for clemency that will go to the Office of the Pardon Attorney."

The lawyer notes that "if Nat had been sentenced under today’s sentencing guidelines, he would have likely long since been out of prison." He also "has a loving family that awaits his release with open arms, and he deserves a chance to live the rest of his life as a free man.” The lawyer also notes that he has "seen over a dozen letters from his superiors and others supporting his efforts for a release. Why should he be relegated to the grips of an archaic sentencing regime that is no longer applicable?” See full article here.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Michigan: The Politics of Parole, Pardon

Gov. Rick Snyder
Brian Dickerson of Detroit Free Press does some very fine reporting on a case we discussed last month - Governor Rick Snyder's pardon of Alan Gocha, a recent offender, who also happened to be a former political appointee and acquaintance. The story of the pardon was further colorized by the fact that Snyder is fairly stingy with pardons, the offense was committed not very long ago and the application was supported by "connected" persons. See our previous coverage and commentary here.

Governer Snyder, at first, attempted to appear "puzzled" that anyone would care about such a thing but, as Dickerson notes, he also argued Gocha "never contributed" to his campaign and did not have "any financial connection at all," He also emphasized the pardon was signed on the recommendation of the Michigan Parole Board.

Dickerson's complaint is that the Governor could have been more "candid." He could have, for example,
... pointed out, for instance, that while neither Gocha nor Bhargava have contributed directly to Snyder's campaigns, both men have donated generously to third-party organizations that helped bankroll Snyder's re-election. 
In his own communications with the Associated Press on this story, the Editor of this blog wondered who the members of the Board were, and how they got there. Dickerson, however, did the leg work and found:
... each of the 10 parole board members who recommended a pardon for Gocha were political appointees installed in 2011, after Snyder abolished the existing parole board (then known as the Parole and Commutation Board) and dismissed all 15 of its members. (Just three of the 15 sit on the reorganized Parole Board.) 
A state Court of Claims dismissed a lawsuit filed by six members Snyder dismissed before their terms of office had expired. Dickerson notes an Ingham County Circuit Court "issued a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, ruling that although Snyder had the authority to abolish their positions, he was bound to honor their $89,000-a-year employment contracts until they expired."  But Republican legislators transferred "jurisdiction over lawsuits against the executive branch to a new Court of Claims appointed by the Republican-controlled state Supreme Court" and the decision was reversed. Says Dickerson:
The point is not that a gaggle of friendly judges have abetted Snyder's effort to hijack a historically independent parole board, but that the board has always (or, at least in recent decades) been a political instrument beholden to whomever happens to be governor. Granholm put an exclamation point on that authority in her second term when she issued an executive order moving the appointment of parole board members from the Department of Corrections (whose director serves at the governor's pleasure) to the governor's office. Snyder's subsequent executive order reduced the parole board to its previous size and returned responsibility for appointing its members to his DOC director. But it's foolish to suggest that the director, or the parole board members he appoints, are either ignorant of, or insensitive to, the current governor's druthers when they refuse a controversial application for parole or recommend the pardon of a gubernatorial friend. 
The piece ends by noting "Gocha's pardon is one of just 11 Snyder has granted after reviewing 750 applications." See full story here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Guest: Stephen Arrington, Part 3

I loved teaching at the College of Oceaneering in Los Angeles Harbor. Surprisingly, Terminal Island Prison was just a mile away, which made me very uncomfortable. Inmate dreams stalked my sleep leading to many restless nights. I was living in a truck that I called Revelstoke, which had been my home in Hawaii. I parked it in a Mexican family’s driveway just a few blocks from the school. I was socially wounded spending most of my evenings alone. On weekends, I surfed and hung out at the beach. I daydreamed a lot about talking at schools, but was too nervous to approach a principal as a convicted felon. A year passed as I slowly healed.

Medic, College of Oceaneering
In the Navy, I had been a hyperbaric chamber supervisor and an EMTD (Emergency Medical Technician Diver), which is why they made me the school medic at the College of Oceaneering. I was teaching in the classroom when the door was abruptly thrown open and a student yelled, “Mr. Arrington, get to the harbor. Chris is drowning!” I grabbed my first aid kit and ran.

Chris was trapped underwater at a depth of 55 feet. Later, I would later learn that he had been cheating on a project, which made it unstable. A 300 lb pontoon had fallen on him. It knocked his helmet off his head and drove him facedown into the cold mud. On the diving barge, they heard him scream over the intercom followed by the sound of water filling his helmet, and then it went silent. The Time Keeper Recorder logged the exact time of the incident. Chris was trapped underwater, without air, for over 8½ minutes. That meant he was dead!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Guest: Stephen Arrington, Part 2

Stephen Arrington
Everyone needs hope was the theme of my first article for Professor Ruckman. However, hope is conditional upon our moral compass and the level of truth we hold sacred as a foundation to our character. No one wakes up one morning and determines that they are going to become a felon and live most of their lives in prison. The felonious path begins with a single step—out of the light and into the darkness.

I became addicted to marijuana in Hawaii. One of my surfer friends asked me to help him sell a small amount of weed. I refused saying I didn’t want to be a drug dealer like him. “I’m not a drug dealer,” he argued. “I don’t sell drugs, just marijuana and only to my friends. I’m helping out my friends.”

The first person a liar lies to is himself. He (or she) has to convince themselves it is okay to tell the lie and, of course, the next step is to live the lie. Two months later, I was arrested by military police for selling marijuana. Not only did it destroy a 14-year naval career that I loved as a bomb disposal frogman, it brought me to the attention of a man who would hasten my criminal descent.

I had known Morgan Hetrick seven years earlier as a successful inventor in the aviation business. When I left the Navy under a cloud of shame he reappeared into my life with an incredible offer. He wanted to hire me as a pilot and right-hand man. It convinced me to drop my addiction to marijuana. This was a new chance and I wasn’t going to mess it up. But then I noticed that the man I once looked up to had changed. Corruption had slipped into his life. Yet, I still chose to work for him. In life, when are not willing to face the truth, then we must make excuses. Since there is no excuse for doing wrong, then naturally our excuses become lies.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Huff Post on Hillary Clinton

At Huffington Post, Sheldon Filger provides three reasons not to celebrate Hillary Clinton's quest for presidency. For number 2, he writes:
Hillary Clinton was a full partner with her husband in unethical conduct during the presidency of Bill Clinton. A prime example is what happened at the very end of the Clinton presidency, when a series of questionable presidential pardons were granted that were so outrageously incongruent, the whole episode came to be known as "Pardongate." Among the rogues gallery of pardon recipients courtesy of President Clinton were four convicted swindlers from the town of New Square in Rockland County, New York. The largely Hassidic community of New Square voted for Hillary Clinton in her 2000 senatorial campaign in overwhelming numbers, at the behest of community leaders. Shortly after her successful senate campaign, Hillary Clinton joined her husband for a private White House meeting with supporters of the convicted New Town swindlers. 
Though she has never revealed what was discussed -- or promised -- during the closed door meeting, Hillary Clinton maintained that she had no prior knowledge of her husband's intentions on granting presidential pardons to the four swindlers from New Town. However, the feeling of disgust that arose in the wake of Pardongate became pervasive and non-partisan. Then a liberal columnist for the New York Times, Bob Herbert wrote in a column published on February 26, 2000:
You can't lead a nation if you are shamed of the leadership of your party. The Clintons are a terminally unethical and vulgar couple, and they've betrayed everyone who has ever believed in them.
See full editorial here.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Guest: Stephen Arrington, Part 1

My name is Stephen Lee Arrington and I am an ex-felon, who believes that a pardon should be earned. My criminal mistake cost society a lot on many levels. As such, I have an obligation to pay back to the country that I love for what I have taken. If a pardon is in my future, I want it to be cheerfully given—a celebration of forgiveness well earned.

I was arrested in 1982 as a defendant in the John Z. DeLorean case. I had copiloted a plane from Colombia to California loaded with over 600 lbs of cocaine. It was called the Drug Trial of the Century, which is why the prosecutor was demanding that I get the maximum sentence of 45 years in prison. As I stood before the judge 33 years ago, I could not imagine that the prosecutor, James Walsh, would later become my friend and that he would write the introduction to my autobiography, extreme. He said that every youth in America should read that work. You see, it is a book about hope.

I pled guilty because I was guilty. Judge Takasugi noted that I had been coerced into flying the plane under threat of a gun by the Medellin Cartel, yet it was my lack of a moral compass that placed me in that position. Later, the Judge would commute my sentence to three years and then became my main sponsor for a Presidential Pardon.

Like I said, my story is about hope, which is why P.S. Ruckman Jr. invited me to write a short series of articles for the Pardon Power Blog. I draw my material from personal experience and from having spoken at over 3,000 public school assemblies, at dozens of adult and youth lockups, for youth organizations, churches, police departments, colleges, and universities. I talk about choices. Every day we make choices that will determine what path we walk.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Former U.S. Pardon Attorney on Clemency 2014

It was recently reported that 16 percent of the federal prison population (about 35,000) have expressed interest in receiving commutations of sentence from President Obama (see post here). At a symposium on the future of pardons held, today, at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota), Amy Baron-Evans, resource counsel for the Federal Public and Community Defenders, guessed that about 10,000 such applicants might meet the guidelines for commutations recently announced by the Deputy Attorney General (see post here).

Former U.S. Pardon Attorney, Margaret Colgate Love, suggested, however, that, when all is said and done, President Obama may very well grant a mere 2-300 commutations of sentence. Love further argued that Clemency Project 2014 which has resulted in the "outsourcing" of critical decision making has resulted in a process that is even more "random" and "less efficient" than the current process for clemency. In other comments, Love expressed concern that Clemency 2014 adequately meets reasonable standards re "fairness" and "accountability."

A 14-Year Application Process (Repost)

Kathy Kemp, Florida State University
Political scientists like to joke (angrily) about the Kathy Kemp Rule, under which one  sends a birthday card to one's manuscript (sarcastically, of course) if it sits under the review of a journal editor for more than a year. Doing so also earns one 65 points in Rotisserie Political Science!

It appears Lynn Marie Stanek's application for federal executive clemency actually achieved "teen" status under the Kathy Kemp Rule! Yes, Stanek applied for federal executive clemency on September 29, 1998 ... and 26 years after her conviction ... she received a presidential pardon.

What was her application doing for over 14 years? Well, as best as we can tell, it traveled as follows:

History of a 14-Year Clemency Application
Application Sent to:
Office of the Pardon Attorney
U.S. Probation Office
Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. Attorney
Deputy Attorney General
Office Deputy Attorney General
White House
Office of the Pardon Attorney (return)
(Redacted Recipient)
Office Deputy Attorney General
Office of the Pardon Attorney (return)
Office Deputy Attorney General
White House
Office Deputy Attorney General
Office of the Pardon Attorney (return)
Office Deputy Attorney General
White House
Pardon Granted

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