Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Saunders to Obama: Make It Happen Now

Of all of the reactions to recent revelations re the clemency application of Clarence Aaron, perhaps the most interesting is that of San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders, who has publicly argued on Aaron's behalf for more than a decade.

Saunders reports Samuel Morison (a former lawyer in the pardon attorney's office) told her that he believes President George W. Bush would have commuted the sentence if Rodgers accurately had conveyed case facts. The application was also on the plate during the month of December.

Says Saunders:
I've never argued that Aaron did not deserve prison time. He broke the law, for which there are consequences. Those consequences, however, tend to fall disproportionately on black men. Barack Obama has a decision to make. The president has the power to pardon when the criminal justice system overreaches. The court put away a first-time nonviolent offender for life with no chance of parole, but because the feds do not want to admit they made a mistake, Rodgers and his ilk have been willing to let a young man rot in prison for the rest of his life. The only question is: Will the president let him get away with it? 
 See Saunders' editorial here.

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