America Needs Broader Use Of Clemency To Free Nonviolent Offenders

1275 words - 5 pages

There is no shortage of information chronicling the destruction that has been done in the lives of numerous of individuals and numerous loved one of those individuals by the severely harsh sentencing laws passed by our United States Congress and our state legislatures commencing in the late 1980s in what is called to be “War on Drugs.” Some of our past and present political influential leaders have chooses to minimize utilizing their Pardon Power.
Ronald Reagan when he was elected to Presidency in his first term a nonpolitical influencer who held the position of duty attorney general managed all of the Presidents advisement for clemency pardon powers under the attorney general which was not of highest priority. This was not strongly managed by the duty attorney general and collapsing the application review process.
Under Massachusetts Governor and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, he had approved for a furlough of a former offender Willie Horton. Horton was guilty of rape and murder of a woman during the time of his furlough approved by the governor. Presidential candidate George W. Bush used Horton immoral acts as a highlight and one of his platforms to make America aware as to why Governor Dukakis should not be the republican choice for president.
It is reported that during the administration of Former President George W. Bush, “He received more than 11,000 clemency requests and granted only 189 pardons and 11 commutations. Only one commutation went to a lifer: Reed Prior” (Gill 2010 p. 22). Fortunately, Reed Prior was not one of those who still must be delay by the system for after serving his time for a probable life sentence in one of the US federal prison facilities. He would have served time for a drug offense which was nonviolent. He is now no longer incarcerated, a free man do to being the only person granted executive clemency in the last twenty years, by President Bush.
A desire of wanting to believe that Reed Prior case is irregular, not common in our criminal justice system and has no flaws, working exceptionally for all Americans. It is comforting to some in this country to believe that Reed’s case is not common. However, many in United States must realize that it is an unrealistic reality that we face across this country. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that there are numerous Americans whom are incarnated in a federal system with cases like Reed Prior and does not become an exception but in fact it becomes the rule. This country has more than half of the percentage incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses.
Furthermore, elected Governors and Presidents, whether past or present. They have decided that their Clemency Pardon Powers does not warrant a high-priority at a time which the countries drug laws would be defined by stricter guidelines. Such elected members have reduced the power to pardon under their administration while maintaining a concern error to an approval of a pardon under...

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