Friday, November 16, 2012

92-Year Old Dies, Waiting on OPA, DOJ, Obama

The Village Voice has an interesting piece on one Drayton Curry who, at 92 years of age, was apparently the Nation's "oldest federal prisoner." Last month Curry died in prison after waiting almost two years for the Office of the Pardon Attorney, the Department of Justice and President Obama to respond to his request for clemency.

Curry, an army veteran and a "model" prisoner, died of heart and kidney ailments and hoped to spend time with his family before the end of his life. He had been in prison for almost 20 years, serving a life sentence for "a fairly thin non-violent drug conspiracy conviction."

According to the Voice. Curry "began petitioning for his release in 2007." And, most recently, his lawyer filed a clemency petition in February, 2011. But, "the pardons office ... did nothing."
This does not sit well with his devoted family who had been hoping for years that he would be released. "It's really difficult to fathom," says his granddaughter Mignonne Willis-Gray, of Washington, D.C. "After 20 years, his voice still hadn't been heard. The process should not have taken as long as it did, even to get a 'no.' I'm not excusing the offenses that he was convicted of. But I do believe we need to look at the fairness of that whole process. Was it because it was election time, and would have looked bad?" Eisemann offered this statement: "The sorry state of the pardon and clemency process in this country, and the politics that underlies it, is simply unacceptable and in this case was nothing less than tragic."
Curry's attorney says:
"I had hoped a particularly compelling case like this would have prompted responsible action by the Pardon Office and the President but, instead, my poor client became just another example of justice delayed being justice denied. It's even more disturbing that there seems to be no end in sight for this type of inaction concerning the President's exercise of a fundamental power granted him by the constitution." 
See full story here.

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