Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Meanwhile, in Texas ...

Scott Henson - at - notes that Governor Greg Abbott (aka "Clemency Grinch," "Pardon Scrooge") "is about to complete his first year as governor without exercising once one of the handful of core functions assigned to his office in the state constitution: Executive Clemency." It appears Abbott is not even good for "a handful of symbolic pardons around Christmas."

Says Hansen:
To his discredit, in Abbott's first year as governor, Barack Obama has granted clemency to more Texans than him, and Obama's clemency record is abysmal. It's not like the Texas governor really does much: Sign or veto bills, make appointments, and clemency really are the main things on his plate under the state constitution. But one of those three has been all but abandoned. 
The American Conservative this week featured a piece which referenced a data point originating with Henson:
"Rick Perry appointed a clemency board of tough-on-crime hardcases, then rejected two-thirds of their pardon and commutation endorsements." 
Greg Abbott "has yet to embrace his clemency power even on a symbolic level, much less on an industrial scale" - the scale of activity needed to effectively address mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. Consequently, "since Rick Perry issued his last pardons on December 19, 2013, it's now been more than two full years since any Texan received the benefit of executive clemency." See complete blogpost here.

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