Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Stars Follow the Scholars! Pardon Reform Now!

For some time now, scholars have called upon the President to reform the clemency process. They have also asked that the president remove the process from the grasp of prosecutors in the Department of Justice, by forming a separate panel.

Today,Boston.com reports the likes of Lil Wayne, Ron Howard, Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, Scarlett Johansson, Kim Kardashian,Russell Simmonsare, Chris Rock, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Hudson, Nicki Minaj, Susan Sarandon, Sir Richard Branson, Will Smith and more than 100 others (including 6 members of Congress) are "calling on the president to focus on changing drug laws."

More specifically, they are asking the president to "move toward replacing jail sentences with intervention and rehabilitation for non-violent offenders." They are also asking the President to "form a panel to handle clemency requests and to support a measure that allows judges to waive mandatory minimum sentences."

With some irony, the list of academics and "thought leaders" does not include any of the relatively small group of people who have generated almost all of the academic research and writing on clemency over the last twenty-five years (Adler, Berman, Crouch, Erler, Kobil, Larder, Love, Morison, Osler, Ruckman, Rozell). Even more ironic is the fact that most (if not all) of these scholars are in agreement with - and would gladly sign on with - this letter! It is a shame these bases were not covered as well as they could have been. See full story here.

See the complete text of the letter here.

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