Thursday, December 4, 2008

Watch List: FOX on Clarence Aaron, Part I

Jennifer Lawinski of FOX News has written the first of a three-part series on the case of Clarence Aaron, who has been on our pardon watch list for some time now. Aaron's case has received considerable attention in the past. The long and short of it is that he received three life sentences, without parole, because he introduced two drug dealers to each other in 1993. At the time, Aaron was a 23-year old junior at Southern University in Baton Rouge. From there, it is all pain and agony.

For example, Aaron's five co-conspirators (including a "kingpin") all cut deals with federal prosecutors to testify against him in exchange for reduced sentences. On average, they will spend about eight years in prison. As David Borden, executive director of Stop the Drug War puts it, "Aaron was the lowest man on the totem pole and he got the worst sentence." One year after the sentence, Congress passed a "safety valve" exempting first-time non-violent offenders from being punished according to mandatory sentencing guidelines. But, Lawinski point out, the law was not retroactive. PardonPower will certainly be following this three-part series with great interest. See part one here.

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