Thursday, December 31, 2015

Osler: On Hope, Change and Self-Congratulations

Mark Osler, Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas and a former federal prosecutor, notes President Obama "promised hope to those in prison" but has not:
 ... fixed the underlying problem: a process that courses hard files through four different federal buildings and seven levels of review. 
The "easy fix" - he and others have advocated for some time - would be to "put the pardon attorney in the office of the White House counsel and have her report directly to the president." Says Osler, "All the president needs to make it happen is the political will and a pen. We know he has the pen. He hasn’t used it."

Osler is also clearly bothered by the administration's "cloud of self-congratulation," a PR stunt which makes much out of the fact that more commutations have been granted than have been granted in recent administrations - administrations all quite notorious for callous neglect of clemency. Everyone familiar with the topic knows the President could hardly pick a lower bar, a worse point of comparison

Osler hopes:
This can’t be how the movie ends. There has to be more, in the months to come, because a promise was made to those who had no hope. 
See full editorial here.

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