Three inmates whose life sentences were commuted in Washington state separately went on to commit crimes after their release. The incidents should have prodded officials to tackle the structural justice reforms that would prevent them from recurring, writes an inmate in one of the state’s correctional institutions.
Not really, suggests the president of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys. She warns that if the Obama Administration’s recent call for the abolition of fixed bail schedules were adopted, the consequences for California’s justice system would be significant.
Obama promised to use executive clemency as a tool to undo harsh prison sentences that resulted from the “tough on crime” era of federal drug prosecutions. But with plea bargaining increasingly replacing trials, presidential pardons may be even rarer in the years ahead.
Criminal justice stories have dominated the news in many communities. Yet it has gone largely unnoticed that within the next several months, thousands of inmates are expected to be released early from federal prison. The public needs to be assured that relieving the prison overcrowding crisis does not in turn create a probation supervision crisis. Probation officers safeguard communities and help offenders rebuild their lives. Without them, meaningful criminal justice reform is not just incomplete; it could be deleterious. Probation […]
President Obama commuted the sentences of eight people imprisoned more than 15 years on crack-cocaine charges, a move in line with his administration’s attempts to ease some of the harsher drug-sentencing decisions of the past two decades, the Wall Street Journal reports. The president also pardoned 13 others who already served sentences for various federal crimes. The eight inmates getting commutations were sentenced before Obama signed a law in 2010 ending a 100-to-1 disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences. […]
Ronald Rodgers, the head of the U.S. Justice Department’s pardons office, failed to convey key information accurately to the Bush White House on a federal inmate’s plea for early release, the department’s inspector general concluded, reports ProPublica. In the case of Clarence Aaron, the IG found that Rodgers engaged in “conduct that fell substantially short of the high standards expected of Department of Justice employees and the duty he owed the President of the United States.” Inspector General Michael Horowitz […]