Saturday, May 14, 2016

Anatomy of a Clemency Hit Piece

At FrontPage, Daniel Greenfield has written what can best be categorized as the last gasp of a dying breed, an awkward rhetorical burp of the 1970s Law and Order campaigns of Richard Nixon. The piece is entitled, "OBAMA’S LATEST AMNESTY FOR DRUG DEALERS Freeing drug dealers, terrorizing communities."

While we can award style points for the root buzzword "terror," the tense and lack of subsequent elaboration on the theme are less than impressive. The piece is NOT about drug dealers terrorizing communities. At best, it is about how the author thinks drug dealers may have terrorized communities, a good 10, 15 or 20 years ago. Implication of the present tense, however, is so much more shocking you know. Nor is the piece about "amnesty." It is about 58 recent commutations of sentence.

Paragraph after paragraph, Greenfield recites the criminal behavior and convictions of individuals and - without explicitly saying so - suggests, 1) all of their sentences were perfectly tailored to fit their crime(s) 2) none of them could have possibly rehabilitated, or payed their debt to society - because, you know ... because! 3) all of the key players in the criminal justice system - aka the ones who, in theory, know more about the cases than Greenfield ever will - agree that all of the sentences handed down were fair and just.

But don't misread, dear reader, Greenfield did do his homework. He sought the opinions of a police lieutenant and ..."local resident." His piece does not reference a single judge, prosecutor or juror. One suspects that is no accident. The fact that any of Obama's commutation recipients must comply with probation? Nuance schmuance!

If this is the kind of "backlash" the President can expect, in the future, when granting commutations of sentence, he should be confident indeed. See full piece here.


Anonymous said...

We find it quite ironic that President Obama has priorities of giving commutations to people who have been convicted of drug crimes. Some having excessive sentences and some NOT. With that said...........there are citizens out there who have (we can assume to a great degree) that PARDON applications for offenses already served and made whole by the person(s) are being "ignored". The question is......Why? Why are they being ignored. These past offenders have served their time and paid restitutions back to society and have a right under the 8th. Amendment instructed our forefathers to get their civil rights back.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those that have paid their debt. My pardon application is now over 5 yrs old.. (2) yes TWO extensive FBI interviews, secretary treasure of my church ( just saying )..been on current job 20 brush with law since I was 24 yrs old and I am now 50 yrs old...Maryjane conspiracy..YEP !just signed statements. The prosecutor threatened me with 10 yrs to life if I wanted to try it or I could plead to 18 months for the amount they said I would have been responsible for...remember all signed statements from dealers caught with the drugs giving up names to cut a deal...Keep in mind I never even had a speeding ticket in my life up to this point.

So here I sit and wait...Why do I need a pardon ? Simple. Its all work related I cannot hold certain license in my profession being a felon, cannot work in certain states. I have had to pass on numerous chances for advancement.

Please keep in mind I no longer I feel I am being punished but I feel my wife and my 10 yr old daughter is having to pay a price and settle for less when I could be a better provider with a pardon.

So here I sit and wait...

Anonymous said...

I second the above statement. Same situation convicted in 1997. Never been in trouble before or since. Was 27 now I'm 46. wife and 3 kids. I have held the same job for the past 20 years... mind you this is still the same job I took a leave of absence from to serve my prison time... and it's a government job to boot. Applied for pardon one in 2010 well after my time was served. Had the FBI's extensive check to only have it denied 4 years later in December 2014. Now, I have reapplied in December 2016... on to the new wait I guess for the same result. Unfortunate.

Jim Zock said...

Correction on the above dates. denied 12-2013 I have reapplied 12-19-2015 and my second application is currently pending. The have not even acknowledged receipt of it yet.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you were turned down like this after 4 years. I understand the disappointment you must have gone thru. I am glad to hear you was able to keep your job while serving your sentence this alone is almost un-heard of.
I on the other hand lost everything I ever worked for. I had never even had a seat belt ticket in my life and found myself setting inside a federal prison being counted twice a day as an inmate for 18 months.

I keep holding on that my pardon will be granted due to the fact I was interviewed by the FBI nearly 5 years ago when I submitted my application and out of the blue I got a call they wanted to interview me again 2 months ago just to refresh their 1st interview.
If the Obama administration doesn't approve my pardon I hope that nothing happens at all in hopes that the next administration picks up on my application and makes a favorable decision.

Amyray007 said...

I have had two women on the CAN-DO Top 25 who were denied clemency by OPA and it's mind boggling. One is 67, only has sight in one eye - has served almost all of her time but she probably won't live the next 2 years to walk out of prison. She is Native American - loved by the entire compound and OPA chose HER to deny - then there is Lavonne Roach - also native American a first offender serving 30 years - already served 19 - has never gotten in trouble while in prison - her father died and now her mother is on her death bed - there is NO REASON in the world why her petition should have been denied. No violence and the president is seeking GOOD applications -others have received clemency who can't hold a candle to her case - but she got a denial. WHY? Someone should have to explain why. That's what bothers me most - no accountability. No explanation and I know her case - she's perfect. Maybe they have something against Native americans.

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