Presidents and governors will be reluctant to use the clemency power to correct injustices as long as they calculate that the potential political fallout from pardoning someone who goes on to commit further crimes outweighs the criticism they will receive for using the power purely for symbolic purposes. Only public pressure and consistent criticism will alter the values in that equation.See Balko's complete piece here.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Radly Balko, Senior Editor of Reason Magazine, has written a nice review of the year in clemency. In addition to providing an excellent review of specific episodes, he provides background links and great commentary. Noting that it was a "strange year," Balko writes: