Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Clemency Applications Duplicate Old Application Numbers

Yahoo News reports that "more than 18,000 prisoners" have "filled out electronic surveys to apply for reduced sentences from President Barack Obama." But, it is also noted that "about 18,000" federal prisoners had already applied for commutations "over the previous 12 years combined." In addition, it is notes that "many" of the applicants "almost certainly do not meet the requirements set out by the Justice Department."
The president is looking for federal prisoners who have already served 10 years for a nonviolent crime that would have been prosecuted or sentenced differently today. (One example is inmates who were charged under now-repealed laws that punished people 100 times more harshly for possessing or dealing crack than powder cocaine.) Prisoners must have a clean record as inmates and have committed no “significant” violent acts before their current charge. 
The Clemency Project 2014 will conduct "initial screening" of petitions and choose "the best applications, flesh them out, and then send them on to the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the coming months." University of St. Thomas Law Professor Mark Osler says trained volunteer attorneys will vet the applications and "some of the smartest attorneys in the United States" will also "help.”

See story here.

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