Wednesday, August 17, 2016


More to do on clemency....

Yesterday, a great piece by Vann Newkirk came out in the Atlantic, arguing that much more can be done with the time this administration has left. Vann used Rachel Barkow, Van Jones and I as sources, and did a great job putting our (sometimes disparate) views together.

I've spent a lot of time this summer on a new article on clemency, one which I sent to Vann when he called while investigating this piece. I hope to have it available on-line in the next few weeks.

It's wonderful that the President has used clemency vigorously for those who merit it the most: men and women who are serving very long sentences for non-violent drug crimes. So far, my students have won the release of six people-- men whose stories I know and care about. Weldon Angelos is free as well. It would be easy to congratulate ourselves and be done.

Many people-- including the Pardon Attorney, Robert Zauzmer and the Deputy Attorney General, Sally Yates, have been working very hard on this project. I don't mean to diminish their efforts by urging more. But with the finish line close, the kick is about to begin.

But, it isn't done. It isn't even close. There are five months left; we will use them wisely and remain hopeful based on the good intent and heart of this president and those who surround him.

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