Friday, November 12, 2010

On Turkeys and Pardons

In today's Washington Post, Margaret Love recounts the history of presidential turkey pardons and notes that, like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, President Obama has "waited too long" to pardon a human! She also suggests this "hands-off approach" to pardons is exactly what let to the "last-minute frenzy" of clemency applications in those administrations.  Says Love:
It is a shame that the system for administering the pardon power no longer serves and protects the president, for there has never been a greater need for a robust and respectable pardon program. The federal prison population of roughly 200,000 includes many who have served decades for nonviolent drug offenses and others who deserve a second look to determine whether midcourse correction would be appropriate. Thousands of ordinary people living productive and law-abiding lives in this country are disqualified from opportunities and benefits because of a conviction record that may be decades old. These are people who have earned the second chance that a pardon represents. Your own attorney general has criticized these proliferating collateral consequences as a "recipe for high recidivism."
Loves points out the fact that, to date, Obama has only pardoned a turkey - well, and that kid who missed schoool! See full editorial here.

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