Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Open Letter to the President

A group of scholars and activists are reminding the President that the term is nearing its end. In an "open letter" to the White House (here), they note the President's "clemency initiative" has "given hope to thousands of incarcerated individuals" and they also express their  hope that "further reforms" will be a feature in "future administrations."

The signatories of the letter are, however, "concerned" that the initiative "is moving too slowly." It has been "plagued by bureaucratic inefficiencies" and the U.S. Pardon Attorney "hired by the Justice Department to oversee the process has resigned in protest." In doing so, she complained that "her office was given too few resources to process the thousands of applications it received."

Some involved in submitting petitions are also concerned that petitions "received by the administration" may not "be given even cursory review."
As of this week, nearly 12,000 commutation petitions are pending before the Justice Department. While the 348 commutations you have already granted are a worthy step in the right direction, by our estimates more than 1,500 people in prison are eligible for commutation under the criteria you established.
Thus, the administration's "pace" is disconcerting, and "failing" to grant deserved commutations will "add a second injustice." The communication ends quite pointedly:
... we believe that only your personal leadership will break the bureaucratic logjam that is plaguing the program. No person in prison who meets the criteria for relief should still be behind bars when you leave office. We hope you will move quickly to ensure everyone in your administration acts with the proper diligence to make that promise a reality.


Anonymous said...

Commutations are great but deserving "Pardons" are being totally ignored. Why? What is the problem with granting deserving applicants Pardons where warranted?

Anonymous said...

I am one of those that has been waiting on an answer for my pardon application going over 5 years now.I have almost lost hope at this point with this administration.

My thought process now is hoping that my pardon will not be turned down in Obama's final days as a cleaning house effort for last minute commutations but instead be looked over until the next president takes over. Maybe then I will have a chance.

Anonymous said...

The sad part is that citizens who have applied for Pardons have been waiting for long periods of time while the commutations for drug offenders go ahead of the line or process. The 8th Amendment should apply for everyone "equally"!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. This past February I pass my 5 year mark from the time I submitted my application. All background checks done ( years ago ). FBI interview done ( years ago ). Actually two FBI interviews ( another just 4 months ago). According to the two agents that came out 4 months ago to speak with me said they were just verifying old information and said the original agent that did my back ground has retired. Go figure

My driving purpose for submitting a pardon application was occupational reasons. The pardon office knows this cause I made IT A POINT in my original pardon application. There has been sporadic correspondences over the 5 years with the OPA and my attorney to where we had the opportunity to once again express the reason for my application. Monday 06/27/2016 still word from anyone..

5 years !......think about this 5 years for something to lay on someone's desk.... 5 years of my life I will never get back.

Troy said...

Non violent Marijuana offenders do not belong behind bars. Times are changing, and Marijuana laws are too. We The People are sick and tired of footing the bill for these offenders to be housed. It costs an average of 20,000 bucks to house each one for a year. Personally I'd much rather have a child molester or rapist behind bars. But all too often those sex offenders are being released while Marijuana offenders are being forced to spend 10 to 20 years or even a life sentence without parole. That's ridiculous.!!.As a Cannabis activist I will continue to educate the people of Missouri about the wonderful medicinal and amazing health benefits of marijuana. The laws in this state are gonna change just as they are all over America. It's time to loosen the chains on these nonviolent cases and let them put the education they got in prison to use in society. Let them become productive members of society by giving them another chance. Killers and rapers and those caught up in sex trafficking are the vile criminals that We The People truly want behind bars. Corrupt corporations, crooked politicians and bankers and those above the law are who we want punished severally. For they are ones that are truly hurting people. They feed on the taxpayers and all those that are dependent upon their services or products and drain them dry and leave them in ruins with their lives destroyed and yet they walk free while those who were caught selling or growing or merely possessing marijuana are doing hard time. This has to change.!!.

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