Friday, March 11, 2016

Post: 7+ Years of "Expecting" Continues

Obama: Planning to Plan
It says a great deal when, more than seven years into his presidency, the Washington Post uncritically reports President Obama "is expected to grant clemency" in "the coming weeks."

Yes, yes, this sort of thing has been "expected" for a long, long time now.

The Post notes that, more than a few weeks ago - way back in 2014 - former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. "launched an initiative to grant clemency to certain nonviolent drug offenders in federal prison." The Office of the Pardon Attorney was already receiving record numbers of clemency applications at the time and the results have been wildly unimpressive to date.

Including the years before and since the "launch," Obama has granted - according to the Post - 184 commutations of sentence (we count 187) and more than 9,000 additional applications are waiting. Meanwhile, on the pardon front, few presidents have ever been so merciless, so indifferent to the need for second chances.

Click on Image (Above) to Enlarge
Where applications are in the bureaucratic stream (the U.S. Pardon Attorney’s office? the office of Deputy Attorney General? or the White House Counsel’s office?) cannot be determined just yet because that information is "not publicly available."

When the administration was more prompt in responding to FOIA requests by the Editor of this blog, it was known that applications came into the White House in a fairly regular fashion, throughout the months of the year, but were generally granted in November and December (see post here). Data gathered early in the administration also showed the typical clemency grant took 4 years to process and spent over 260 days in the White House Counsel's office.

The Editor of this blog calls for more transparency along these lines in a forthcoming article, "Preparing the Pardon Power for the 21st Century." University of St. Thomas Law Journal.

See Post article here. This post was visited by the Executive Office of the President oft the United States on April 11, 12016.

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