Monday, February 20, 2017

Massachusetts: Governor Barker Does Obama Routine

Gov. Barker Waiting Till End of Term? has a wonderful story on the clemency situation in Massachusetts. It notes 71 people applied for pardons and commutations last year and none of their applications has reached Gov. Charlie Baker for consideration. One application is from 54 year old Alfred Waitt, who was arrested "more than 35 years ago on charges of underage drinking, possession of marijuana and a pocket knife."

Baker, however, hasn't granted a single pardon or commutations since he took office January of 2015. Perhaps he has been encouraged by President Obama's record on clemency and is waiting for he term to near its end. Barker has received over one hundred requests, but says he relies on State's Parole Board to reviews them before he acts.
“It’s really up to them ... If they were to send me something, I would review it and make a decision based on the facts of the case. But I’m certainly not going to tell them what to do.” 
Since 1945, Massachusetts governors have granted 5,772 pardons and 267 commutations, with "more than than two-thirds of the pardons, and a third of the commutations" being granted from 1964 to 1971. In the past five years, there have been "230 pardon requests and 356 commutation requests" and "just five pardons and a single commutation" have been granted. See full article here.

Pardons and commutations by Massachusetts governors:

Charlie Baker (Republican) 2015 - present Pardons 0 Commutations 0
Deval Patrick (Democrat) 2007 - 2015 Pardons 4 Commutations 1
Mitt Romney (Republican) 2003 - 2007 Pardons 0 Commutations 0
Jane Swift (Republican) 2001 - 2002 Pardons 7 Commutations 0
Paul Cellucci (Republican) 1997 - 2001 Pardons 20 Commutations 0
Bill Weld (Republican) 1991 - 1997 Pardons 45 Commutations 6
Michael Dukakis (Democrat) 1975 - 1979; 1983 - 1991 Pardons 838 Commutations 59
Edward King (Democrat) 1979 - 1983 Pardons 212 Commutations 11
Frank Sargent (Republican) 1969 - 1975 Pardons 1,754 Commutations 40

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In Massachusetts and elsewhere the problem might be the 1988 case of Willie Horton and newspapers in the Commonwealth might be the reason.

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