Saturday, February 14, 2009

More on Lincoln, Obama and Pardons

Molly Gill, Director of the Communications project for Families Against Mandatory Minimums has written an editorial for the Washington Times. It observes "thousands" of federal prisoners file for clemency each year and "go through the Justice Department's lengthy, bureaucratic and prosecutor-controlled review process, where their applications are rejected for lack of an in-road to the White House." Gill says federal prisons currently operating at 40 percent over capacity, in large part as a result of mandatory minimum sentences. But presidents have responded to the increased demand for clemency by "either neglecting the pardon power or misusing it." The piece then calls on President Obama to be "truly Lincolnesque" by granting pardons "frequently, strategically and with a great deal of compassion." By doing so, he would "send a message to Congress that systemic sentencing reforms are needed." See full editorial here.

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