Thursday, January 5, 2017

Oregon: 3 Pardons

Gov. Kate Brown
Gov. Kate Brown has granted pardons to three Oregonians. In a public statement, Brown said she takes executive clemency "very seriously" - which seems a little odd, given the fact she took office in February of 2015 and has not granted a single pardon or commutation of sentence until now.

But, Brown explains. She says that she thinks clemency is "appropriate only in rare cases" - an amazingly odd assertion. And based on what? The three recent recipients - she says - "distinguished themselves by learning from past mistakes and committing themselves to serving their communities."

We guess we are left to believe that all of that is pretty rare stuff in Oregon. Tough crowd.

The recipients were convicted of manufacturing a Schedule I controlled substance (1994), driving with a suspended license (1991), and promoting prostitution (1989). The sentences imposed were 36 months of probation, 24 months of probation and a fine and another probation sentence and $800. Rare that anyone could earn clemency after THOSE offenses?


Governor Brown should participate in the great American tradition of checks and balances. She should stop pretending that legislators, judges and prosecutors in Oregon are perfect. She needs to open her eyes to the fact that citizens all around her have learned from their mistakes. She needs to read the Federalist Papers and take to heart Alexander Hamilton's admonition that there should be "easy access" to mercy. Three pardons in almost a year is surely a sign of gross neglect. See story here.

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