Tuesday, March 03, 2015


Still pushing...

On Sunday, I flew back to Minneapolis from Virginia, where I had given a sermon. On the way out, I picked up a copy of the Washington Post, the newspaper that got me through college.  Opening it up to page three, I saw the article pictured above (and linked here).

Sometimes, when I get quoted in a news story, I feel kind of stupid about what I said-- not because I was misquoted (because I rarely am), but because what I said was kind of, uh, stupid.  But not this time.  The reporter, Sari Horwitz, pulled this out of the things I told her:

Mark Osler, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and an advocate for inmates petitioning for clemency, said there are “thousands” of inmates just as worthy of clemency as the eight who were granted it by the president at the end of last year.

“The injustice will be if this administration ends with them in prison,” he said. “This is one of the major justice issues of our time.”

I like that.  And I hope that the President read it. As Rachel Barkow and I argued in the Post just a few months ago (and the NY Times agrees), there is a better way to do things without all of the bureaucracy within the current federal clemency process.

I agree in principle. Two questions.

At what point after incarceration should clemency be first considered?( Exclude cases of innocence and unusual circumstances.)

What procedures should replace present procedures?( In other words, how would you uncomplicated the process and would you give the victim or the victim's family and advocates a say?)

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