The apparatus for processing clemency applications needs to be removed from the plodding, obstructionist hands of nameless, faceless, career prosecutors in the Department of Justice (DOJ) whose decision making is ridiculously without transparency and, consequently, well beyond any reasonable degree of accountability. The process has not always been in DOJ. It does not need to remain there any longer. This sad party needs to come to an end. The President should move the clemency apparatus out of DOJ and into the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Then - following the recommendations of the political scientists and the Progressive movement in the early 1900s, as well as the example of most of the American states - create a pardons commission. Pardoning should be systematic and regular, not seemingly random and last-minute, a mere after-thought.
From: "Preparing the Pardon Power for the 21st Century," forthcoming, University of St, Thomas School of Law Law Journal: