Hearings are set to begin Wednesday for the largest number of Pennsylvania lifers up for commutation that anyone can recall: 21 men and women, all of whom are recommended by the state Department of Corrections for release. One former official called the commutation system “broken.”
Brown, whose protest against Tennessee’s harsh sentencing laws for teens got national attention, drew support from high-profile celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian-West. She was freed Wednesday after then-Gov. Bill Haslam commuted her sentence.
President Trump granted a pardon to Pat Nolan, director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform. Nolan had served a prison term for accepting illegal campaign contributions. Trump also pardoned former newspaper mogul Conrad Black.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is weighing whether to grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown, a Nashville woman serving a life sentence in prison for a murder she committed at 16. Brown’s advocates say the sentence was too harsh and that she was a sex-trafficking victim.
With only four more months in office, Gov. Jerry Brown commuted the life sentences of 20 murderers, and he has handed out more than 1,100 pardons benefiting a wide array of individuals. He says there has been an “overshoot” in the time many people expect criminals to be locked up.
So says one of his personal lawyers, Rudolph Giuliani. The president has discussed the possibility of pardoning the recently convicted former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who faces a second trial next month.
President Obama’s push to grant clemency to thousands of inmates convicted of drug offenses was hamstrung by a lack of planning and may not have reviewed petitions consistently, said the Department of Justice Inspector General. Obama ended up commuting a record-setting 1,696 sentences.