WASHINGTON — President Obama has received more
petitions for pardons and shorter prison sentences
than previous presidents at this point in office, and
he hasn't approved a single one.
Obama has already logged 2,361 clemency
petitions, according to the Justice Department. He
also faces a backlog of 2,173 old requests, a legacy
of a system that civil rights groups and conservative
jurists say has fallen into disuse.
Not since Gerald Ford, who approved more than
150 clemency petitions in his first year in office, has
a president granted mercy more than 10 times early
in his tenure. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton each
waited about two years to approve a pardon or
shorten a prison sentence, records show.
"The incredibly pernicious political atmosphere
makes it difficult for even a president who wanted to
use the power," says Daniel Kobil, a professor at
Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio.
HOPING FOR CLEMENCY: Convict seeks reduction in
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Thursday, April 29, 2010