Tuesday, May 28, 2013

OPA on "Denied or Closed Without Presidential Action"

The following correspondence concerns data which can be found on the web page of the Office of the Pardon Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice (here).

Friday, May 10, 2013

I am wondering if you could provide any insights on how one might go about disaggregating the data for the category labeled "petitions denied or closed without presidential action" from 1945 to 1977, in order to bring it into line with data from 1978 forward. Or, more specifically, I would like to be able to separate actual "denials" from the "closed without presidential actions."

As a separate issue, could you please elaborate as to why petitions would be closed without presidential action? Is there a common circumstance(s) that lead to such actions? Anything you could generalize about that would allow me to understand that category better? best, P.S. Ruckman, Jr., Editor, http://www.PardonPower.com

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dear Professor Ruckman, We have received your questions concerning the statistics regarding Presidential Clemency Actions by Administration that are available on our website. You have asked whether we are able to “provide any insights on how one might go about disaggregating the data for the category labeled ‘petitions denied or closed without presidential action’ from 1945 to 1977, in order to bring it into line with data from 1978 forward.” Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with any information as to how the data can be subdivided ...

Your second question asks if we could “elaborate as to why petitions would be closed without presidential action.”  ... there are several circumstances under which such action is taken. Both pardon and commutation applications are closed without presidential action if the petitioner withdraws the application or dies during the pendency of its consideration. Moreover, a pardon application will be closed administratively if the petitioner repeatedly fails to respond to a request by the Pardon Attorney for information necessary for the processing of his application. Further, a commutation application will be closed administratively if an applicant who seeks only reduction of his prison sentence is released from prison before the President takes action on his request. Finally, since a person is not eligible to seek commutation of sentence if he is challenging his conviction or sentence through litigation, a commutation application will be closed administratively if it is learned that the clemency applicant is simultaneously seeking relief from the courts. We hope this information is helpful to you. Sincerely, Office of the Pardon Attorney

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