Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Missouri: The No Mercy State

The St. Louis Post Dispatch has an informative article on clemency in the administration of Jay Nixon. It concluded Mr. Nixon - who has granted a single pardon in five years as Governor - is "derelict" in his "constitutional duty."

The piece also notes Nixon’s "reluctance" to grant clemency is "out of whack with his predecessors, be they Democrats like him, or Republicans" :
Ironically, the governor to use the pardon pen the most in recent years was Gov. Roger Wilson, who was in office less than a year but issued 45 pardons or commutations. In his one term, Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, issued 16 pardons or commutations. Fellow Republican Gov. John Ashcroft issued 30 in his two terms. Democrats Bob Holden and Mel Carnahan issued 37 and 32 pardons or commutations, respectively. Mr. Nixon, it seems, shows no mercy. 
The editorial concludes that "to think that there’s no one among the 30,000 inmates in Missouri’s prisons (at $22,350 a year each) who deserves a break is not just unrealistic, but cruel." See full editorial here.

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