Friday, March 19, 2010

Texas: The Secret Pardon

The Texas Tribune has a can't miss story on the workings of the clemency process in that State. Along the way, it notes that, despite the importance of the decisions that it makes, the seven member Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles is "one of the least transparent agencies" in State government. It is not required to hold public meetings, does not have to offer explanations for its decisions and documents related to its decision making are not available to the public. In addition, "there are no guidelines in statute or in board rules that outline a basis for decision making." The members, who make from $95,000 to $115,000 a year are not even required to meet before an execution. Materials are faxed to them and they respond via fax! Some are calling for "reform"! No kidding! Read more about the Board and its decision making here here.

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