Sunday, July 21, 2013

Stewart (FAMM) on Delay, False Assurances

Julie Stewart (FAMM)
Over at Huffington Post, Julie Stewart, President of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, reminds us all that, over a year ago, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration was about to change its historically miserable record on clemency. Part of that assurance came in the form of a statement supposedly made to ProPublica: "There will be 76 days between the election and inauguration for the president to exercise his [clemency] power."

There followed ... nothing.

Indeed, Stewart notes that, since winning the election, President Obama "has not commuted a single sentence" although he has "denied 2,232 requests for commutation, more than any other president in history denied in a single year." Says Stewart:
If the administration wants to make certain every dollar of our nation's public safety budget is spent productively, as it should, President Obama should begin to exercise his executive clemency authority. For starters, he might look at the 2,000 individuals serving sentences of life without parole for drug crimes. He also should look at the 8,800 individuals serving lengthy crack cocaine sentences that were based on a formula that was repudiated by Congress when it passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. Thirty years of automatic, lengthy mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders has been a major contributor to the Justice Department's prison problem.
See full editorial here.

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