Showing posts with label Arkansas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arkansas. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Arkansas: 8 Pardons

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be granting eight pardons. His office says "each of the eight have completed all jail time and parole and probation requirements and have paid all fines." Crimes addressed involve burglary, theft, and drug-related charges. See story here.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Arkansas: 5 Pardons

It is reported that Governor Asa Hutchinson has granted 5 pardons and denied an additional 22 clemency requests. KTHV reports "all those who have been pardoned have completed all required jail time." Among the offenses addressed in the pardons: violation of Arkansas' hot check law, shoplifting and criminal trespassing; manslaughter; theft of property; filing a false police report and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. See story here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Arkansas: 9 Pardons

Governor Asa Hutchinson will be granting 9 pardons and restoring "firearm rights" for an additional person. Per usual, "all terms of these applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations." Among the offenses addressed: Burglary, Theft of Property, Theft by Receiving (1986 and 1989), Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (1998), Theft of Property (1989), Possession of Pseudoephedrine with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine (2002), Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana (2001), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (1994), Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine (2000), Theft of Property and Arson (1996), Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Meth with Intent to Deliver, Furnishing Prohibited Articles, Possession of Controlled Substance without Prescription, Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Possession of Meth with Intent to Deliver, Furnishing Prohibited Articles, Possession of a Controlled Substance without Prescription and Possession of Methamphetamine (2001, 2002 and 2003), Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Personal Injury and DWI 1st Offense (1993). See full story here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Arkansas: 9 Pardons

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced his intent to grant nine pardons. He also denied 50 clemency requests. Per usual, applicants intended for pardons "have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences." Among the offenses involved: Grand larceny (felony), Violation of Arkansas Hot Check Law, theft of leased personal (felony), Manufacture, and delivery or possession of a controlled substance, marijuana (C felony).

Friday, December 18, 2015

National Journal on Clemency in the States

The National Journal is featuring a piece on clemency in the states and the case of one Lydia Garcia Ortiz in particular. Garcia was charged for "lead­ing a ring that traf­ficked an es­tim­ated $5 mil­lion of co­caine from New York City to Rochester." At the time, New York's Rock­e­feller drug laws "im­posed severe sen­tences for non­vi­ol­ent drug crimes." A judge offered a three year sentence for her testimony or a prediction of twenty five years if she insisted on a trial. So, Garcia fled, and remained a fugitive for 14 years, until 2003, when she was 58 years old. Garcia stepped out of prison in October of 2015, her sentence commuted by Governor Cuomo.

Re clemency in the states, the piece observes:
... In re­cent dec­ades, an era where politi­cians don’t want to be seen as soft on crime, the clem­ency power has be­come polit­ic­ally dan­ger­ous, ex­plained P.S. Ruck­man, Jr., polit­ic­al-sci­ence pro­fess­or at North­ern Illinois Uni­versity and au­thor of the Par­don Power Blog.
The most ex­treme ‘no clem­ency’ state is Wis­con­sin, where Walk­er has made it a policy to not grant any. “There are oth­er gov­ernors who may have the same at­ti­tude, but they don’t an­nounce it. They just don’t par­don people, or they par­don very rarely,” Ruck­man said. But he said there is no state where the gov­ernor is known for “hand­ing clem­en­cies out like candy.”
Though it hasn’t made sig­ni­fic­ant dif­fer­ence in the num­bers yet, Ruck­man thinks that there is a shift in na­tion­al at­ti­tudes to­wards clem­en­cies. In New York, the fact that a gubernat­ori­al hope­ful, Zephyr Teachout, stood for clem­ency re­form, he says, is telling. New Jer­sey Gov­ernor, Chris Christie, who is seek­ing the Re­pub­lic­an Party nom­in­a­tion for pres­id­ent, re­cently pardoned a man for a drug re­lated of­fense, say­ing, “This is no gift from me. This is something John’s earned.” 
Ruck­man’s home state of Illinois, has seen a bit of change in par­don­ing cul­ture over the past few gubernat­ori­al terms. Fol­low­ing the now-in­car­cer­ated former gov­ernor Rod Blago­jevich, who gran­ted zero clem­en­cies dur­ing his term, Pat Quinn, a Demo­crat, gran­ted 1,752 re­quests and denied 3,014—a rate of grants re­por­ted to be among the highest for any gov­ernor at that time. The cur­rent gov­ernor, Bruce Rau­ner, a Re­pub­lic­an, has taken steps to main­tain a healthy clem­ency sys­tem. Rau­ner re­views ap­plic­a­tions on a reg­u­lar cycle. Since tak­ing of­fice last Janu­ary, he has gran­ted 21 clem­en­cies, in four batches.
... A healthy clem­ency sys­tem, Ruck­man said, is one that re­views ap­plic­a­tions in a sys­tem­at­ic fash­ion on a reg­u­lar basis. He points to Arkan­sas as a good ex­ample of a state where par­dons are giv­en at a healthy rate. “In Arkan­sas, the gov­ernors reg­u­larly par­don—not hun­dreds of thou­sands, but two here five here, ten there, that type of thing,” he said.

See full article here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Arkansas: Five Pardons

Arkansas Online reports that Gov. Hutchinson has granted five pardons and one restoration of firearms rights." The Governor also denied 48 clemency requests. Among the convictions addressed were: delivery of a controlled substance (1992), property theft, criminal trespass and breaking or entering (2002 and 2003), possession of a controlled substance (2004), second-degree forgery (1981), third-degree domestic battering (1989), first-degree criminal mischief (1980). See story here

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Arkansas: 7 Pardons

THV 11 (CBS) reports Governor Asa Hutchinson intends to pardon 7 individuals. Per usual:
The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken. 
Among the offenses pardoned were: Battery 3rd Degree (A Misdemeanor) and Delivery of Cocaine, three counts (Y Felony), 1992 and 1995; Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine, two counts (C Felony), 2002; Possession of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine, two counts (C Felony), 2002; Possession of a Controlled Substance (C Felony), 2002; Manufacture Marijuana (C Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (C Felony), 1994; Residential Burglary (B Felony) and Theft of Property (B Felony), 2000; Possession of Methamphetamine (C Felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia with Intent to Use (C Felony), 2004.

There were no law-enforcement objections to any of these applications.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Arkansas: Three Pardons

It is reported that Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced his intent to grant two pardons and one restoration of firearms rights. In addition, Hutchinson has denied 148 clemency requests. Among the offenses granted: 1998 and 2002 convictions for Criminal Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Use of Paraphernalia to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Ephedrine Possession, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, and Manufacture of a Controlled Substance.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Arkansas: 25 Pardons

Governor Mike Beebe has announced his intent to grant 25 pardons. It is also reported that 64 clemency requests were denied by the governor.Per usual, the 25 pardons were granted to persons that have "completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences." Among the offenses addressed in the pardons: Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia, Burglary, Grand Larceny, Theft of Property, Forgery, Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia, Delivery of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Theft of Property, Negligent Homicide, Possession of Marijuana, Carrying a Weapon, Battery, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver, Theft of Services, Theft by Receiving, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia, Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Internet Stalking of a Child, Theft by Receiving, Robbery, Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons, Possession of Methamphetamine, Delivery of Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana and Cocaine with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia, Battery, Failure to Appear, Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia, Theft, Burglary, Attempt to Obtain Drugs by Fraud,  Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia,  Possession of Methamphetamine. See story here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Arkansas: Board Recommends Clemency

ArkansasNews.com reports that the State's Parole Board has unanimously recommended parole be granted to a James Weaver Jr., 44,  who was convicted of capital murder twenty years ago. Weaver's original sentence was "life without parole." The Board recommends that the sentence be commuted to "time already served." A County Prosecuting Attorney and County Sheriff  objected to Weaver’s application for clemency without explanation. See story here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Arkansas: 6 Pardons, 1 Commutation

Governor Mike Beebe has granted one commutation and six pardons. 47 additional clemency requests were denied. Beebe commuted a term of 150 years to a term of 80 years in the Department of Correction. Pardons were granted for Manufacture of Marijuana, Theft of Property, Forgery, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Controlled Substances and Drug Paraphernalia.and Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia. Per usual, all terms of the applicants have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law-enforcement objections to the application. See story here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Arkansas: Eight Pardons

Gov. Mike Beebe has announced that he will grant eight pardons. Each has "completed all jail time and parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines." Among the offenses addressed by the pardons are domestic abuse, battery and drug possession to burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Arkansas: 15 Pardons

Governor Mike Beebe today announced his intent to grant 15 pardons. He has also denied an additional 38 clemency requests. The 15 applicants intended for pardons "have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences." Among the offenses addressed are:  Shoplifting, Burglary, Theft of Leased Property,  Criminal Mischief, Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud, Overdraft,  Criminal Trespass, Possession of Methamphetamine, Criminal Mischief, Battery,  Fleeing,  Filing a False Report of Criminal Wrongdoing, Possession of Cocaine,  Breaking or Entering, Assault on Family/Household Member, Domestic Battery, Manufacture of Marijuana and Delivery and Possession of Marijuana.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gov. Mike Beebe, Who Does He Think He Is?

Gov. Mike Beebe
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe just doesn't get it.

The man uses the clemency power, a check and balance explicitly provided to him by his State's Constitution, on a regular basis, yes, even monthly! For some reason(s), he does not do nothing for many months in a row - like many State governors, and the President of the United States. Nor does Beebe simply wait until December to grant pardons. Why, he isn't even waiting until the last days and hours of his term to dump pardons (in the manner of Haley Barbour). This man, Beebe, is granting pardons right and left, as though the power given to him was meant to be used - not neglected for long periods of time, or abused.

Apparently, Beebe has not gotten the memo, informing him that, if he is not careful, he might be "Willie Hortoned"! Richard Nixon outlawed coddling up to criminals in the late 1960s. Who doesn't know this?

Beebe does not seem to comprehend that critics will eagerly misrepresent his decisions as having overruled the decision making of judges and juries. Why, even Governor Scott Walker (Wisconsin) gets this, and refuses to even allow the great American tradition of executive clemency to be anywhere near his State's criminal justice system. George Washington and James Madison may have coddled up to Whiskey Rebels and Baratarian Pirates, but the legendary contributor to the Republic, Scott Walker, is no such wimp.

Beebe's pardons fall so regularly, in such an even-handed manner, why, one suspects he sees clemency as a regular part of the business of being governor and that, perhaps, he may even have a systematic approach to what he is doing, maybe even a clear set of standards. How in the world can this kind focus and rationality be tolerated even as Mitt Romney brags about having pardoned no one? It is baffling.

Google away looking for stories of how Beebe's pardons have "backfired" - how he has sprung violent criminals from prisons for no apparent reason, only to see them reek havoc on society once again. Google away. It is almost like there is nothing there. Nothing whatsoever. How is Beebe getting away with this, month after month, year after year? It is downright baffling.

One has to wonder: how many other governors could be doing this?

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe’s
Clemency Record
Month
Year
Pardons / Commutations
April
2014
10
March
2014
9
February
2014
5
January
2014
4
December
2013
7
November
2013
3
October
2013
7
September
2013
7
August
2013
3
July
2013
4
June
2013
7
May
2013
8
April
2013
6
March
2013
8
February
2013
5
January
2013
3
December
2012
7
November
2012
7
October
2012
7
September
2012
4
August
2012
5
July
2012
6
June
2012
9
May
2012
7
April
2012
7
March
2012
6
February
2012
7
January
2012
4

172

Arkansas: 10 Pardons

The Associated Press reports that Gov. Mike Beebe has announced his intent to grant pardons to 10 convicts. Per usual, each has "completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences." Among the offenses addressed: Possession of Methamphetamine and Marijuana, Possession of Ephedrine with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine (1999),  Breaking or Entering, Battery, Possession of a Firearm by a Certain Person (1991, 1994) Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver (1990) Theft of Property (2000) Burglary (1967), Theft of Property, Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia (1997, 2001) Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia (2001) Breaking or Entering, Theft of Property (1993) Possession of Hydrocodone (2006)  See full story here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Arkansas: 9 Pardons

Governor Mike Beebe - one of the nation's most frequent and consistent pardoning governors -  has announced 9 pardons. In addition, 59 clemency requests were denied. Per usual, the 9 recipients "have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences." Per usual, there are "no law-enforcement objections. Among the offenses addressed in the pardons: Delivery of cocaine, domestic battery, theft of property, breaking or entering, possession of controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Arkansas: 4 Pardons

Governor Mike Beebe has announced his intent to grant four pardons. The Governor also denied 25 clemency requests. Per usual, the grants were given to applicants who "completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences." Among the offenses addressed: Theft, Theft by Receiving, Hot Check, Theft of Property and Breaking or Entering. See full story here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Clemmons Problem? Or Media Problem?

Jonathan Martin of the Seattle Times has announced ever so ominously that,
If former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is going to run for president in 2016, his campaign is going to have to run through the Forza coffee shop in Parkland, Wash. That’s where one of Huckabee’s many parolees, Maurice Clemmons, assassinated four Lakewood police officers in 2009, depriving nine children of a parent and setting a national perception that Huckabee abused his powers of clemency. 
Martin says Huckabee's "Maurice Clemmons problem" exists because Huckabee "freed Clemmons from a 108-year sentence in 2000." Seemingly to prop up the claim, Martin notes Huckabee "granted more pardons and commutations - 1,033 - than his three predecessors (including Bill Clinton) combined."

But the "Maurice Clemmons problem" is really a "poorly informed / sensationalist media problem." Martin was clever enough to identify a "perception" that Huckabee abused his clemency powers in the case of Clemmons, but boorish enough not to say what the primary mover of that perception was: second (if not third) rate - and often outright misleading - media reporting.

Mike Huckabee did not set Clemmons free, much less "abuse" his pardon power in the process. Clemmons had been given a 108-year sentence at the age of 16 (nothing to see there!). In 2000, Huckabee merely commuted that sentence - not to time served mind you - but to 47 years. By that point, Clemmons had served eleven years, but no one was set free.

Huckabee did not have the power to simply grant parole. Nor does parole rain from the sky in Arkansas. It does not flow from public drinking fountains. Arkansas has a Post-Prison Transfer Board which makes recommendations for parole to the governor after thorough investigation of each application. After reviewing Clemmons' request (supported by the sentencing judge), that Board unanimously agree to set Clemmons free, if you will - although with supervision. Clemmons could have been a bone head as Governor Jan Brewer was in the case of William Macumber. But, as he later explained:
... Clemmons met the criteria for parole and was paroled to supervision in late 2000. When he violated the terms of his parole, he was returned to prison and should have remained behind bars. For reasons only the prosecutor can explain, he ended up dropping the charges, allowing Clemmons to leave prison and return to supervised parole. Clemmons moved to his native Washington State and engaged in intermittent criminal activity that increased in violence and frequency. He was arrested on charges of raping a child, yet was allowed to post bail in Washington. While out on bail, he committed the unspeakable acts of murdering four valiant police officers.
And, as Huckabee also explains:
If I could have possibly known what Clemmons would do nine years later, I obviously would have made a different decision. If I only had the same information I had then, I would make the same decision. 
Huckabee can certainly be roundly condemned for failing to predict the future and being unable to connect dots that no one else around him could connect. And Martin certainly looks brilliant, well after the fact. As for playing on the Nixonian phobias ... not so impressive. The Maurice Clemmons problem is largely a problem of unimpressive second-guessing by media too lazy to write well, but desperate to manufacture more controversy than warranted. See full editorial here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Arkansas: 7 Pardons

Gov. Mike Beebe - a governor who grants pardons on a regular basis, not simply at the end of the term, or when it is Christmastime - has announced his intent to grant seven pardons. Per usual, "each of the seven have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole-and-probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences." Among the offenses addressed were drug-related crimes, theft, forgery and "hot check violations." See story here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Arkansas: Three Pardons

See story here.

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