Friday, January 16, 2015

Massachusetts: Channeling Johnny Lee

The Associated Press reports that Gov. Charlie Baker has "ordered the state board of pardons to withdraw guidelines put into effect last year by then-Gov. Deval Patrick." These guidelines are then described as having made "it easier to appeal for clemency." More specifically, they "made commutations possible for those serving harsh sentences for nonviolent offenses and allowed pardons for those who could show they've made an extraordinary contribution to their community."

The critical nature of these guidelines was never more evident that in the fact that had just about ZERO impact. Gov. Patrick sat on his hands while the State's system of separation of powers and checks and balances was operating. Judging from his inaction, we are left to conclude the legislative and judicial branches of Massachusetts are perfect. Criminal processes are, likewise, without flaw. Offenders of the law are all guilty of the very worst, unforgivable violations and, certainly, no one ever experiences anything like true rehabilitation. Once a criminal, always a criminal. Eternal punishment is no horror. It is State policy.

That is exactly what a governor says when he /she fails to pardon.

Looking for controversy in all of the wrong places, there is apparent concern over the fact that actor Mark Wahlberg has a "pending request for a pardon." In addition, there is hand-wringing because a "spokesman" for the incoming governor "withdrew" Patrick's guidelines "to allow for time to draft new ones so that petitions sent to the governor are not considered under his predecessor's" guidelines." Instead, the State's Advisory Board of Pardons has been advised that Baker "will develop and promulgate new executive clemency guidelines in due course,"

God help us if the new guidelines are as revolutionary and high-impact as Patrick's!

See full story here,

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