Tuesday, September 11, 2012

O. Henry Application: A Worthy Exception

Today, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing a stamp commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the birth of William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. O. Henry. This morning Scott Henson (Editor, Grits for Breakfast) and I mailed a formal application for a posthumous pardon to the Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA), Department of Justice (DOJ).

The web page of that Office notes that it is the "general" policy of the Department of Justice "not to accept for processing applications for posthumous pardons for federal convictions." As a result, we have simply requested that the OPA consider the merits of the several arguments in our application, and grant it the status of "exception."

It is also noteworthy that the OPA explains its "general" policy is based on the belief that:
Many posthumous pardon requests would likely be based on a claim of manifest injustice, and given that decades have passed since the commission of the offense and the historical record would have to be scoured objectively and comprehensively to investigate such claims, it is the Department’s position that the limited resources available to process applications for Presidential pardon are best dedicated to applications submitted by living persons who can truly benefit from a grant of clemency.
This is noteworthy because the application we have filed on behalf of William Porter does NOT base a claim on much of anything that is debatable, or that would requires the scouring of historical records, or a comprehensive investigation. Our application is based on considerations well-known and, frankly, beyond dispute -  William Porter’s rehabilitation, and post-prison life as a well-respected, law-abiding citizen. One need only reference the fact that President Obama actually quoted O. Henry while granting pardons to Thanksgiving turkeys last year.

Sign the online Pardon O. Henry petition here.


Thomas R. Griffith said...

Mr. Ruckman, Grits summed it up over the weeks leading up to this historic day but this one should set the reason for seeking, aplying and receiving pardons -

“The Constitution's framers considered a pivotal check and balance to excesses of the criminal justice system.” Thanks.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Mr. Ruckman, on behalf of those (myself included) that opted to seek post conviction relief only to receive the cut & dried 'Denied' letter of consideration re: Full Pardon – for innocence, please accept our deepest gratitude for taking time to assist Mr. Henson aka: ‘Grits’ in this endeavor to restore dignity to the process and hopefully, the human being’s name.

Note: Grit's actions' inspired me to launch a petition of my own at a time where I had thoughts of throwing in the towel. Coincidentally, in lieu of throwing it in back in 1999 with the first denial and again in 2004, I opted to launch PNG to bring a lil attention to the historically ignored sub-group of humans’ that don’t & never will qualify for any assistance from anyone. Roadblocks & hurdles purposely placed in front of applicants by the very state operated departments’ Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles (Clemency Section) charged with vetting are obviously designed as mere jokes. Various so-called ‘projects’ add insult to injury when applicants’ learn that some take non-DNA claims only to find out that one must have exhausted all appeals prior to seeking help. With the majority of cases being pled out (and most are on probation) everyone knows darn well these folks are not in any position to appeal anything. And, yet, no one with any real power has ever
stood up to voice concerns about the joke that’s all about the taxpayers’ of Texas.

With your permission, I’d like to place a link to my petition? Not necessarily to seek signatures but to show others that the state of Texas is void of a state operated program aimed at vetting claims of false arrest that were allowed to subsequently morph into wrongful convictions via the over utilization of the TapOut (plea bargain abuse). The current system requires applicants’ to seek and return with ones “Package” the three original trial officials’ unanimous decisions. With absolutely no incentives to sign a document admitting that they and / or their predecessors’ collectively conspired to convict the innocent, one can see that simply applying is a joke in itself.

Thanks for all that you do on behalf of others and for allowing for this side of the elusive pardon that never was and never will be.

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