Obama may have the power to grant clemency, but he can't use that power effectively unless the Office of the Pardon Attorney gives applicants a meaningful review and recommends worthy cases to the White House.Indeed. PardonPower agrees with Gill. Obama should take "a hard look at the pardon system" and "fix" it. See entire editorial here.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Today's Washington Post features an editorial by Molly M. Gill, director of the commutations project for Families Against Mandatory Minimums. After noting an original finding of this blog -that only four other American presidents have waited longer than Barack Obama to use the pardon power- Gill suggests the clemency system is "broken down."
How so? Gill notes the Office of the Pardon Attorney is has a "small staff" that is "overburdened." As a result, "applicants report filing their clemency petitions and never receiving a reply" and applications "often sit in the pardon attorney's office for years before they are, inevitably, denied." But, more importantly, she notes: