Friday, April 10, 2015

Former U.S. Pardon Attorney on Clemency 2014

It was recently reported that 16 percent of the federal prison population (about 35,000) have expressed interest in receiving commutations of sentence from President Obama (see post here). At a symposium on the future of pardons held, today, at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota), Amy Baron-Evans, resource counsel for the Federal Public and Community Defenders, guessed that about 10,000 such applicants might meet the guidelines for commutations recently announced by the Deputy Attorney General (see post here).

Former U.S. Pardon Attorney, Margaret Colgate Love, suggested, however, that, when all is said and done, President Obama may very well grant a mere 2-300 commutations of sentence. Love further argued that Clemency Project 2014 which has resulted in the "outsourcing" of critical decision making has resulted in a process that is even more "random" and "less efficient" than the current process for clemency. In other comments, Love expressed concern that Clemency 2014 adequately meets reasonable standards re "fairness" and "accountability."

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