Sunday, December 21, 2014

Indiana: Corny, Outdated Rhetoric Over Mercy

Niki Kelly of the Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne) has written a pithy piece on the Governor, whom she notes, is a man who "said he wants Indiana to be the best place for criminals to get a second chance." Kelly, however, has the nerve to observe that Mike Pense took office in January of 2013, has received 34 recommendations from the Indiana Parole Board regarding pardon petitions and "he hasn’t granted one."

Failing to understand the nature and purpose of the pardon power, Pence, evidently, rationalizes his inexcusable neglect by saying that he has "a heavy bias for respect for due process of law.” How he does not understand that the pardon power is part and parcel of "due process" is a complete mystery. Maybe history majors at Hanover college don't learn about separation of powers and checks and balances in federal republics.

Perhaps more revealingly, Pence says clemency requests represent a "high hurdle" for him. Which is to say, his view of the matter varies considerably with Founding Father Alexander Hamilton who, in the Federalist papers (previously read by History majors nation-wide), recommended that there be "easy access" to mercy because criminal codes have an almost natural tendency toward cruelty, and insensitivity to due process.

Pence has offered that he will “prayerfully consider recommendations through the prism of what justice demands”- a promise which does seem a little more encouraging in contrast to mindlessly posing as a get-tough-on-crime law-and-order drone. Consider, for example, Pense's revelation that, in his mind, "offenses for violent crimes" involve "a much higher threshold,” Wow. The man is deep, cutting edge!

Kelly also notes former Gov. Mitch Daniels granted 62 across almost all of the eight years he was in office. But even that was "far fewer than recommended by the board." See the entire, very well written piece here.

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