Thursday, April 11, 2013

Osler at Huffington Post

Prof. Mark Osler has a great piece up at Huffington Post entitled, "How to Awaken the Pardon Power." He notes that although "there is a crisis of over-incarceration in this country" the pardon power "has nearly faded away." Indeed, President Obama "remains the stingiest user of executive clemency in recent history" while "over 5,000 federal prisoners continue to serve sentences under an old mandatory minimum sentencing statute for crack cocaine sentences that has been reformed but not made retroactive." Says Osler:
Reports critical of Obama's performance have recently been issued by experts at both the conservative Heritage Foundation and the liberal American Constitution Society, and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has condemned the dissolution of the pardon power both while on and off the bench. Such rare consensus among the right, the left, and the middle must mean that something is very wrong. 
What is to be done? Osler suggests 1) removing the pardon process from the Department of Justice 2) establishing a "diverse, bi-partisan board" to consider clemency applications and 3) "routinize" clemency grants. Bravo! See full editorial here.

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