Thursday, February 11, 2010

OPA Budget Notes

The Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA) in the Department of Justice (DOJ) has made a budget request of $2.8 million. This represents a mere 1.8 percent increase over last year's budget. The Office (which features 15 position, 7 attorneys), will be adding no new employees despite an "internal challenge" - the number of applications for pardons has "increased substantially in the last several years" and is "at an all time high." A budget statement also suggests "there has been significant increase" in "media and public interest" in clemency. Despite the fact that President Bush was one of the slowest presidents in history to grant a pardon,, for FY12011" program changes, the requests lists nothing. See the OPA Budget Request here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Justice Department's new budget request for the Pardon Attorney's office repeats a tiresome bit of nonsense as though it were gospel. It says: "Under the Constitution, the President's clemency power extends only to federal criminal offenses." The Constitution says no such thing. It says the pardon power extends to "Offenses against the United States" and that means all offenses, civil as well as criminal. Presidents George Washington and John Adams knew that, even if the Justice Department does not. Both men issued warrants that covered civil as well as criminal offenses. In fact, Washington's first pardon was for a civil offense; it was granted to a ship's captain who faced the court-ordered sale of his ship for failing to pay the duty on a couple of casks of rum.

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