Post Date: November 25, 2013
(Huffington Post op-ed by Molly Gill) — As President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder ramp up the administration’s support for reforming federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws, there is one tool they have not used yet and should: the presidential pardon power.
That power allows the president to pardon former offenders, thus restoring their rights. It also allows him to commute (reduce) the sentences of federal prisoners serving punishments that are unjust, unnecessary by virtue of the person’s extraordinary rehabilitation, or both. President Obama will soon issue pardons to two otherwise destined-for-dinner Thanksgiving turkeys. Granting some commutations for humans would not just use the pardon power as our founding fathers intended, but also could add momentum to sentencing reform bills being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next several weeks. Read more