Wednesday, December 24, 2008

California: Call for Clemency Reform

Dr. Allen Jones, a "prison reform activist" is calling for a new clemency plan in the State. He notes the current adult prison population is 170,000 strong and believes there are "thousands" sitting there "who do not need to be there." Here is Jones' plan:

Create a clemency panel in every one of the 58 counties of the state consisting of no more than five citizens from that county. These clemency panels would rule on clemency request of NONVIOLENT prisoners who qualify under established guidelines. Under current law anyone can ask for a pardon. But under this new law only NONVIOLENT inmates could request a pardon if the prison system is over capacity or the prisoner meets other criteria.

The most likely panel members would be registered voters or those who have served on a criminal jury in that county in the past twelve months who could be paid $100 a day for their service and they would be randomly selected as is with the current jury selection process. This is far more than the $12.00 I received for my last one day

"Benefits" of the plan would include "saving billions in incarceration cost" and "eliminating prison overcrowding." See additional details here.

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