... here in Missouri there is a governor who is well aware of mistakes made in the criminal justice system, mistakes made by his employees in high-profile cases, and he’s found only one instance in which to exercise the very important power he has to pardon or commute. The disconnect is startling, especially when compared to Mr. Quinn’s more reasonable actions in Illinois.The editorial also notes that that "secrecy" surrounding the pardon process is a "problem."
Last year, a special American Bar Association report critical of the state’s death penalty protocols pointed to the lack of transparency in the pardon process ... In Missouri, Mr. Nixon can ignore pardons or grant them, with nobody being the wiser as to his reasons for the application of justice or mercy. That’s simply wrong.It is also noteworthy that Nixon has denied 212 petitions and almost 3,000 await action. The editorial concluded:
The clemency process is a final and important element of the entire criminal justice system. It should be open. It should matter. It should be taken more seriously. We don’t know Mr. Nixon’s motivation for failure to use one of the most powerful tools at his disposal. Maybe he believes everybody in prison is guilty. Perhaps he’s still planning a run for higher office and wants to cynically take no chance that there are any Willie Hortons on his résumé. Maybe, he simply lacks mercy. We doubt that’s truly the case, but actions speak louder than words.See full editorial here.