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Article • July 20, 2017
Filed under: Pardons/Clemency
Schwarzenegger Secretly Commutes Sentence of Friend's Son; Victim Notification Not Required in California Clemency Decisions by Mark Wilson by Mark Wilson The California Court of Appeals held that the victim notification requirements of "Marsy's Law" do not extend to the Governor's sentence commutation authority. Near midnight on October 3, 2008, ...
Article • April 25, 2017
Will Hopes Raised by Clemency Initiative Pronouncements be Realized? by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna In December of 2013, President Obama created a wave of excitement in the incarcerated community when he announced the commutation or pardon of 21 federal prisoners, bringing his first-term total to 52, plus 10 clemencies, and ...
Article • April 13, 2017
Filed under: Pardons/Clemency
Dramatic Changes to Boost Number of Clemency Petitions and Pardons by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 23rd, 2014, announced significant changes in the Office of Pardon Attorney (OPA), which processes Pardons, Clemencies, and Commutations.  The former head of the pardon office, Ronald ...
Article • April 5, 2017
Filed under: Pardons/Clemency
DOJ Announces Dramatic Changes to Expedite Clemency Petitions by Derek Gilna by Derek Gilna The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 23, 2014 announced significant changes in the Office of Pardon Attorney, which processes Pardons, Clemencies, and Commutations.  The former head of the pardon office, Ronald Rogers, had been ...
Article • March 10, 2017 • from PLN March, 2017
Obama Sets Record for Commutations Granted, and for Those Denied by Derek Gilna Former President Barack Obama has been widely commended for granting a record 1,927 applications for clemency during his two terms in office from January 20, 2009 through January 19, 2017, consisting of 1,715 commutations and 212 pardons. ...
Article • February 8, 2017 • from PLN February, 2017
California Governor Grants 112 Pardons, One Commutation by On December 23, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown granted 112 pardons and commuted one prison sentence in a continuation of his tradition of issuing pre-Christmas reprieves. Most of the pardons were provided to people who had already completed their sentences for nonviolent ...
Article • November 7, 2016 • from PLN November, 2016
Federal Prisoner Tells President “No Thanks” to Offer of Clemency with RDAP Condition by Derek Gilna Federal prisoner Arnold Ray Jones was one of almost 30,000 applicants seeking executive clemency from President Obama, including those who took part in Clemency Project 2014, which was launched to provide much-needed relief to ...
Arizona Governor's Record on Clemency is Brutal, Unlikely to Change by In Arizona, where most residents throughout the state seldom experience thunderstorms, data shows that it's more likely criminal offenders will be struck by lightning than granted clemency by the governor. And the rarity of commutation is likely to be ...
Article • October 14, 2016
Pardon for Michigan Attorney Has Political Connotations by After Michigan Governor Rick Snyder reorganized the state’s parole board, he told its new members he had an interest in granting pardons to prevent a criminal conviction from being an economic barrier to applicants. Then, in March 2015 he granted a rare ...
Article • September 7, 2016
Obama's Pardons: Too Few, Too Late, and 'Almost Irrelevant' by Joe Watson Blame Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton or any former president who has abused his pardon power and made it politically inconvenient for future presidents to give clemency to those who deserve it. Blame the career prosecutors in the U.S. ...
Article • September 6, 2016
Federal Clemency Initiative Granting Relief At Slow Pace by Christopher Zoukis The Obama administration's "Clemency Initiative 2014," a highly-touted program designed to grant clemency to non-violent offenders and other federal prisoners, has yet to make a substantial impact on the exploding federal prison population. While some 16 percent of the ...
Article • September 2, 2016 • from PLN September, 2016
Obama Issues Another 214 Commutations for Federal Prisoners by Derek Gilna President Obama announced 214 commutations on August 3, 2016, spurring hope that the pace will increase as he nears the end of his term in office. This latest batch, the largest number of commutations issued in a single day ...
Article • August 26, 2016
Oklahoma DA: Pardons Board Violated State's Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines by If a clemency board chooses to sidestep mandatory sentencing guidelines and recommend a prisoner's early release, it possesses that maneuverability. And, as an Oklahoma D.A. recently illustrated, prosecutors hate being outmaneuvered. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater accused the state's ...
Article • August 9, 2016
Last Act in Office - Maryland Governor Commutes Four Death Row Prisoners by Christopher Zoukis In a highly controversial decision, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) commutes the sentences of four death-row prisoners to spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole. An opponent of the ...
Federal Jury Awards $9 Million to Illinois Man Cleared of Rape He Was Convicted of as Teenager by Alejandro Dominguez, who spent four years in prison for a rape he did not commit, was awarded $9 million by a federal jury after DNA evidence cleared him of the charges. Dominguez, ...
OIG Study: Bureau of Prisons Held Thousands of Prisoners Beyond Release Dates by Derek Gilna The federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), pilloried by one Congressional study that found it was unable to follow its own compassionate release policy, and by yet another criticizing endemic overcrowding, has again been called to ...
Dallas Conviction Integrity Unit Gains National Notoriety by Matthew Clarke The word “first” was applied to Craig M. Watkins multiple times after his election to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office in 2006. He was the county’s first black D.A., the first D.A. who had been a public defender before ...
Aging, Sick and Incarcerated: The Need for Compassionate Release by Victoria Law By Victoria Law, Truthout.org Mary Ziman already had debilitating fibromyalgia and, unable to work, was on permanent disability. Then she was arrested and sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine, charges she says ...
No Place for Old Men by Texas prisons are filling up with the old and the ill — at enormous expense. by Dick J. Reavis, Texas Observer Benito Alonzo is a short, 140-pound 80-year-old. His quiet-spoken manner, drooping jowls and gray hair, trimmed in a buzz, give him the appearance of ...
Exonerees Fulfill Dreams, Help Other Prisoners Overcome Wrongful Convictions by David Reutter by David Reutter and Joe Watson Former Louisiana death row prisoner John Thompson has spearheaded an organization that aims to help the wrongfully convicted and former prisoners successfully rebuild their lives. Thompson was sentenced to death for the ...
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