Sunday, May 23, 2010

James Cole for DAG

Students of the pardon power are aware of the fact that the federal clemency process has, for some time, been tied closely to the deputy attorney general (DAG). In recent decades, the Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA) has forwarded recommendations to the DAG, who has then passed them on to the president. The position has been in limbo for some three months now, since David Ogden stepped down. But, on Friday afternoon, the White House announced that the nomination of James Cole, to replace Ogden.

At first glance, there appears to be little reason to celebrate, at least if you are concerned about the fact that the current administration is among the very slowest in history to exercise the pardon power. First, Cole is a former prosecutor and, Lord knows the Department of Justice (DOJ) is stacked with officials with experience on that side of the criminal justice equation. Second, Cole is described as a "close" friend of Attorney General Eric Holder who, as deputy attorney general, showed very little interest in the clemency program of the Clinton administration, excepting those circumstances where there exercise of clemency was particularly questionable (FALN pardons, Marc Rich, etc.). See story here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

So do you really believe no one will ever be pardoned, find something positive to write, you negative slight is getting old.

P.S. Ruckman, Jr. said...

EDITOR: "Ever"? You are quite silly Anon. Read more carefully! BTW here some "positive" news for people like you: http://thecrimereport.org/2010/05/25/justice-department-seeks-to-keep-u-s-pardon-records-secret/

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