Sunday, December 14, 2008

New York: Direct Appeal to the President

Alison Gendar of the Daily News is covering the case of Chibueze Okorie, who is also on our Pardon Watch List. The 47-year old Brooklyn lay minister spent 18 months in prison after being arrested for being a driver for a heroin ring. That was in 1989, but he now runs the risk of being deported to Nigeria. But Okorie's clemency application because the former U.S. Pardon Attorney wrote, "This might sound racist but [the applicant] is about as honest as you could expect for a Nigerian. Unfortunately, that's not very honest." This piece notes:

With Bush's time in office growing short, Okorie's attorney is pushing for the President to take a personal look at the case before his final round of pardons. "Making a direct appeal to the President makes sense," said political scientist P.S. Ruckman, an expert in executive clemency. "He has the power to override the string of prior decisions, and the problem with the pardon attorney raises legitimate questions on whether this particular case was handled properly."
Hillary Clinton is among those supporting the application. See story here

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