Showing posts with label Quote of the Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quote of the Day. Show all posts

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quote of the Day: Isabella Pleas for Mercy

ISABELLA
Yet show some pity.
ANGELO
I show it most of all when I show justice;
For then I pity those I do not know,
Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall;
And do him right that, answering one foul wrong,
Lives not to act another. Be satisfied;
Your brother dies to-morrow; be content.
ISABELLA
So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
And he, that suffer's. O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.
Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder;
Nothing but thunder! Merciful Heaven,
Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle: but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
From Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quote of the Day: T. Roosevelt on O. Henry

"All the reforms that I have attempted in behalf of the working girls of New York were suggested by the writings of O. Henry." Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Quote of the Day

Hebrews 13:3

"Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." (NIV)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Quote of the Day

"There's no reasonable person who really believes that Clarence Aaron deserves to die in prison"- Sam Morison, former attorney adviser, U.S. Pardon Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show (MSNBC), 5/27/2012.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Quote of the Day: SPSS on Pardons

"Much controversy surrounded Bill Clinton's departure from office. The number and type of pardons issued by Clinton during the waning days of his presidency raised eyebrows among perennial critics and supporters alike. Of course, this episode occasioned difficult and troubling questions of propriety and fairness. Yet it also raised some striking empirical questions. How many pardons do departing presidents typically grant? Fifty? One hundred? Two hundred? For what sorts of crimes or misdeeds have they been granted? What about timing? Are pardons normally issued at the last minute? Or do they take place over the course of a presidency? Does it matter whether the incoming administration is of the same party as the departing administration? Viewed through the lens of political research, Clinton represents one case, one "data point" if you will, in a larger "data set" of forty-three presidents. You can probably think of many general questions about these forty-three cases. To be sure, a little digging may be required, but an analysis of presidential pardons would be well worth the effort." - An SPSS Companion to Political Analysis, Philip H. Pollock III, 2003, Congressional Quarterly Press.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quote of the Day

" ...it is questioned whether "pardons" should be left in the "prosecuting" department. From the viewpoint of society in considering application for pardons, is not "prosecution" the one thing to be kept out of it or very far in the background? Instead of this public function being left to the prosecuting "faculty," should not the power and duties be transferred to the "social welfare" group, with such amplifications as to make possible an -up-to-date plan of parole and probation part of the outworking of the problem of social reconstruction?" - Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science,1921

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quote of the Day: Mercy, the Forgotten Element

"[The prisoners'] humanity entitles them to something else: a measure of understanding, and the mercy that flows from a justice system whose rulers remember that they too are tempted to do wrong, and often yield to the temptation. That understanding and that mercy, in turn, flow from an idea that once was so well understood that it needed never to be expressed, yet now it all but forgotten: the idea that legal condemnation is a necessary but terrible thing - to be used sparingly, not promiscuously." - William J. Stuntz, The Collapse of American Criminal Justice.

Monday, January 16, 2012

T. Roosevelt on State Pardons

One of the most objectionable points of our present prison system is the pardoning power. The question is whether it should be in charge of a pardoning board and taken away from the governor, how such a board should be constituted, whether it should be elected or appointed by the legislature or by the governor ...

In the public press of January 19th last, appears an article which sets forth portions of letters from some twenty governors in answer to an inquiry made as to the said governors' experiences with the pardoning power and their recommendations. Practically without exception they advocated a board of pardons, acting either in an advisory capacity or as an actual pardoning board. In the latter case, the governor should be and always is, I think, a member of the board. The general argument of the governors is that a governor has too many important matters as the executive of the state to enable him to do full justice to the petitions for pardons and commutation of sentences.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quote of the Day: The Same as It Ever Was

[Criticism of the pardon power] has occurred sporadically and has pointed to the necessity for greater circumspection by the pardoning authority rather than to the need for restriction of presidential action or for modification of the pardoning process. Recommendations on applications for clemency of United States Judges and Attorneys should not be relied upon to as great an extent in the future as in the past in deciding what should be done with applications for clemency. [There] are reasons demanding that recommendations from these official should be scrutinized very carefully.

Because of the nature of the information which a judge received on a case, because of the danger of partiality which the experiences of a judge in criminal cases engender, and because of insufficient time to collect facts relevant to a decision in clemency cases, the United States Judge's recommendations should be critically examined. The judges imposed the sentence and they are loathe to admit any error in their original sentence.

[This] last objection applies with equal force to the practice of relying upon the recommendation of the United States Attorneys . The United States Attorneys who frequently reach their offices because of political preferment, are often fired with a zeal to make a record by numerous convictions in order to secure further promotion. Their ardor may bring out a great number of convictions, some of which are unwarranted. But will these men be wiling, afterwards, to recommend clemency in the cases in which over-zealousness brought about a wrongful conviction or too severe a sentence?

[More] security to both the pardoning authority and the applicants for clemency and better results in the use of the pardoning power would probably be produced by creating a small board, equipped with a staff to make impartial studies of detailed data on each applicant for clemency, including the data submitted by the United States Attorneys and Judges, a board clothed with the present authority of the pardon attorney to make recommendations on applications for clemency to the Attorney General and the President. [Such] a process would definitely fix responsibility for action, promote greater uniformity of treatment, and obviate the necessity for relying to as great extent as at present upon recommendations from the United States Judges and Attorneys and from other officials.

Better use of the pardoning power, not abandonment of it, should be sought. The errors which occur in the administration of justice provide a sufficient reason for retention of the pardoning power in the government of the United States. There comes, moreover, a time during the incarceration of the more intelligent prisoners when clemency to them, in the proper form, will be productive of a more good both to them and to society than would ensure from insistence upon strict observance of the sentences. [By] granting clemency at the proper juncture, a social attitude may be created and the development of a vindictive spirit on the part of the convict may be avoided. Something may be lost thereby in the way of certainty of execution of sentence but compensation may be looked for through the restoration of the convict as a useful member of society.
- W.H. Humbert (1941)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quote of the Day: Johnson on Pardon Abuse

"I have been accused of abusing the pardoning power. I have pardoned more men than any other executive but I am glad of it, and I only wish I had pardoned many more. Some of those who abuse me so for pardoning, I dare say, need more pardon than any.[I] did well, yet for these things I was denounced as worse than a rebel." Andrew Johnson

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quote of the Day: John Q. Adams on the Insanity Defense

"They dare not bring forth these pretenses at trial, because they would then be disapproved; but the moment a man is sentenced to die for these offenses that strike at the very existence of human society, religion, humanity, family influence, female weakness, personal importunity, pious fraud, and counterfeit benevolence all join in a holy league to swindle a pardon from the Executive. The murderer is pumped and purged into a saint, or certified into an idiot. Fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, travel hundred of miles to work by personal solicitation upon the kindly feelings of the President. First, they extort a reprieve, then they worry out indulgences, and finally screw out a pardon. A pardon for willful, deliberate murder!" - John Q. Adams

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quote of the Day: Grover Cleveland on Pardons

I have been listening to many applications, and I shall pardon when I see fit. I shall be a governor until the end of my term, not-withstanding all the would-be governors in the State. I am going to do just as I have a mind to about this pardoning business, whether the newspapers like it or not. [One] of these days I'll grant a pardon just because, in my judgment, it ought to be granted and I shall say that is my reason, and shall not give any other. Justice, mercy, and humanity are the things alone to be considered in the application for a pardon. And if I find a poor fellow is unjustly imprisoned, or there is any good reason why he should be pardoned, I'll pardon, and will not regard the record at all. - Grover Cleveland

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quote of the Day: Hoover, Pardons and Sunshine!

Hereafter, in every case where pardon, commutation of sentence, or other executive clemency is granted, you are authorized, in response to inquiries by public officials, or the press, to make public the name of those who supported the application for clemency, and the reasons advanced by them for urging clemency. - Herbert Hoover, November 9, 1931, to the Attorney General.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quote of the Day

The Constitution provides that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment." The power thus conferred is unlimited, with the exception stated. It extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency or after conviction and judgment.

This power of the President is not subject to legislative control. Congress can neither limit the effect of his pardon nor exclude from its exercise any class of offenders. The benign prerogative of mercy reposed in him cannot be fettered by any legislative restrictions. Such being the case, the inquiry arises as to the effect and operation of a pardon, and on this point all the authorities concur.

A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offence and the guilt of the offender, and when the pardon is full, it releases the punishment and blots out of existence the guilt, so that, in the eye of the law, the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offence. If granted before conviction, it prevents any of the penalties and disabilities consequent upon conviction from attaching; if granted after conviction, it removes the penalties and disabilities and restores him to all his civil rights; it makes him, as it were, a new man, and gives him a new credit and capacity. - Justice Field in the Opinion of the Court for Ex Parte Garland (1866)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Quote of the Day

We will not go into history, but we will say a word about the principles of pardons in the law of the United States. A pardon in our days is not a private act of grace from an individual happening to possess power. It is a part of the Constitutional scheme. When granted, it is the determination of the ultimate authority that the public welfare will be better served by inflicting less than what the judgment fixed. See Ex parte Grossman. Just as the original punishment would be imposed without regard to the prisoner's consent and in the teeth of his will, whether he liked it or not, the public welfare, not his consent, determines what shall be done. - Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Opinion of the Court in Biddle v. Perovich, 274 U.S. 480 (1927).

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quote of the Day

It is argued by the attorney general that the word "pardon" was used in the Constitution in reference to the construction given to it in England, from whence was derived our system of laws and practice, and that the powers exercised by the British sovereign under the term "pardon" is a construction necessarily adopted with the term. If this view be a sound one, it has the merit of novelty. The executive office in England and that of this country is so widely different that doubts may be entertained whether it would be safe for a republican chief magistrate, who is the creature of the laws, to be influenced by the exercise of any leading power of the British sovereign. Their respective powers are as different in their origin as in their exercise. A safer rule of construction will be found in the nature and principles of our own government. Whilst the prerogatives of the Crown are great, and occasionally, in English history, have been more than a match for the parliament, the President has no powers which are not given him by the Constitution and laws of the country, and all his acts beyond these limits are null and void. - Justice John McLean, Dissent in Ex Parte Wells, 59 U.S. 18 How. 307 307 (1855)

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