Sunday, September 14, 2008

Florida: Secrecy in Georgia Clemency Process

The Jacksonville Times-Union is featuring a somewhat odd story on the clemency process in the State of Georgia. More specifically, reporter Jack Armstrong is interested in the high level of "secrecy" that surrounds clemency processes and decision making. He notes, for example, that the state Board of Pardons and Paroles "did not disclose what influenced its decision" when it denied clemency for Troy Anthony Davis this past week and that "it doesn't have to." Armstrong also says testimony and evidence presented to the Board also "remains forever secret."

While the Board craves its privacy, other participants in the process are a lot less shy. Recently, supporters of Jack Alderman bought a full-page advertisement in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and set up an online petition (www.justiceforjack.org) encouraging the Board to grant clemency in his case. But commutations of death sentences have been granted in only 3 of 24 cases in the last 13 years. See story here.

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