Clemency Reform: We’re Still Waiting

Post Date: July 19, 2013


Take a look at FAMM President Julie Stewart’s latest piece on the Huffington Post, Clemency Reform: We’re Still Waiting.

If the administration wants to make certain every dollar of our nation’s public safety budget is spent productively, as it should, President Obama should begin to exercise his executive clemency authority. For starters, he might look at the 2,000 individuals serving sentences of life without parole for drug crimes. He also should look at the 8,800 individuals serving lengthy crack cocaine sentences that were based on a formula that was repudiated by Congress when it passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

Thirty years of automatic, lengthy mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders has been a major contributor to the Justice Department’s prison problem. The pardon power can’t fix 30 years of flawed policy, but it can provide meaningful — and best of all, immediate — relief to thousands who have already served long sentences and who pose no threat to public safety. It has been a year since the White House said it would get moving on clemency. We’re still waiting.