Thursday, May 26, 2011

Michigan: Seriously Lame Muscle Flexing

Without reference to any particular decision(s) of his predecessor, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and without any reference whatsoever to data on current applications, a spokesperson for Gov. Rick Snyder has amazingly announced, that consideration of applications for commutations of sentence will be considered on a "case-by-case" basis (Has that not always been the true?), but it is "probably safe to say" that "there are going to be far less" granted.

Why? Uh ... just because. Now THAT is pitiful!

WOOD 8 reports - without details - that Snyder has "tightened up the criteria" for clemency and that he has reduced the size of the State's parole board (from 15 to 10 members). He has also eliminated a recently created "Clemency Council."

Why? ... We guess because he is just a really tough guy!

Former Governor William Milliken notes that "one cannot foretell the future in every case." But, despite a desperate attempt to find something like a "Willie Horton effect," an analysis has revealed that, of the 316 prisoners released early from the State's prisons over the last 42 years, a mere 12 (.03 percent) got into trouble with the law again. None of them, incidentally, were freed by Governor Granholm. Says Milliken, "I've come to regret that I did not issue more commutations than I did ... there is room for compassion." See story here.

Michigan commutations (since 1969) Total: 316

For medical reasons: 81, First-degree murder: 147, Other violent crime: 37, Drug crimes: 106,Property crimes / other: 26

Commutations by Governor:

Gov. William Milliken (1969 to end of 1982), Commutations: 95, For medical reasons: 0,First-degree murder: 94, Second-degree murder: 1

Gov. Blanchard (1983 to end of 1990),Commutations: 6, For medical reasons: 0, First-degree murder: 6

Gov. John Engler (1991 to end of 2002),Commutations: 34, For medical reasons: 11, First-degree murder: 8, Manslaughter: 1, Second-degree murder: 2, Attempted murder: 2, Armed robbery/rape: 1
Armed robbery: 1, Drug crimes: 19

Gov. Jennifer Granholm (2003 to end of 2010), Commutations: 182, For medical reasons: 70, First-degree murder: 39, Drug crimes: 90, Other violent crimes: 29, Property/other crimes: 24

See story here for the above data.

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