Because of mandatory minimum statutes, the presiding judge had no discretion at sentencing. So, he described the sentence that he handed down “unjust, cruel and even irrational.” He then suggested that President Bush pardon Angelos.
Abramsky reports that, today, his clemency application is now supported by "several ex-governors, dozens of ex–federal prosecutors and judges, and four US attorneys general." Read that AGAIN: "several ex-governors, dozens of ex–federal prosecutors and judges, and four US attorneys general."
The editorial then asks, "So why hasn’t Obama done the right thing?" Abramsky writes:
Could it be that Angelos has just gotten lost in the shuffle? Possibly—but if that’s the reason, there would be evidence that Obama has used his pardon and commutation powers wisely in other cases. Unfortunately, that’s not true ... A president who talks the talk about more sensible, nuanced drug policy, and whose oratory frequently invokes what is best in the American political imagination, has shown himself remarkably reluctant to use one of the most important of presidential prerogatives—the power to right judicial wrongs.See full article here.