Saturday, January 15, 2011

Iowa: A (Brief, Very Last-Minute) Time for Fairness

The Iowa Independent reports that the "final act" of Chet Culver was the announcement of two commutations of sentence for Sheila Mae Schertz and John H. Lowery. In each instance, the commutations make the inmates "eligible for parole." The Independent also reports that these were the "first sentences ever commuted by Culver," who complained about "disparities" in sentencing, in the first instance, and an over-harsh "mandatory sentence" in the second.

Culver said he was "passionate about ensuring that people who break the laws serve their time and that the public safety is protected.” But, he also added that there is "a time for fairness, and common sense about the use of taxpayer dollars on our corrections system."

Evidently, that time only exists in the last hours and minutes of one's term, when decision making is most likely to appear rushed and one's motives can be most easily questioned! See story here.

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