Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Puerto Rican Pardons Factor in Age

On April 22, before the Department of Justice announced the details of President Obama's plan to consider commutations of sentence, we shared our own idea of what factors should be considered in a systematic approach by the Office of the Pardon Attorney (see our post / discussion here).

Among other things, we suggested consideration for prisoners who met basic criteria and were over 65 years of age. This kind of thing is routinely considered in mass clemency around the world and Alejandro García Padilla, the Governor of Puerto Rico, is on the same page.

This week, he signed a law that "could lead to the release of roughly 150 inmates over the age of 60" according to El Vocero. It is also reported that the clemency "applies only to non-violent criminals, and not murderers, rapists, or others considered a danger to society." In addition, inmates over 60 must have completed at least 10 years of their prison sentences, five years for those over 65 years of age.

Sound familiar?

Sure, it does. That is because what President Obama is considering is routinely done around the world! Click on the "International" link on the right pane to see story after story like this. Finally, it is also reported that the clemency decision in Puerto Rico will save the United States "100,000 per year, per inmate, due to the excessive medical costs associated with caring for these individuals."

Again, we believe the president should follow suit. See story here.

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