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Justice Department Wants More Drug Clemency Applicants

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justice department drug clemencyBy Phillip Smith

In an unusual move, the Obama administration Thursday told defense lawyers they should suggest more inmates serving time on drug charges who might be deserving of clemency.

That would be a dramatic expansion of the Obama administration’s use of the pardon and clemency power to free low-level non-violent drug offenders. At year’s end, Obama pardoned eight long-serving crack cocaine offenders.

In a speech to the New York State Bar Association, Deputy Attorney General James Cole told attendees that the Justice Department wanted more names to forward to the White House — and that the defense bar could be of assistance.

“This is where you can help,” he said. “You each can play a critical role in this process by providing a qualified petitioner — one who has a clean record in prison, does not present a threat to public safety, and who is facing a life or near-life sentence that is excessive under current law — with the opportunity to get a fresh start.”

Cole said that despite moves to reduce the number of low-level non-violent drug offenders in federal prisons, many remain, serving long sentences they would not be receiving in the wake of the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act and recent Justice Department directives to seek lower drug sentences.

“This is not fair, and it harms our criminal justice system,” said Cole. “To help correct this, we need to identify these individuals and get well-prepared petitions into the Department of Justice.”

The Justice Department is seeking to identify prisoners in circumstances similar to those of the eight who were granted clemency so it can recommend them for clemency as well, he said. The federal Bureau of Prisons will also begin advising inmates of the opportunity to apply, he said.

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Johnny Green

9 Comments

  1. Because Obammer, in 6 years in office, has granted fewer pardons than creepy Geo Bush (the second Bush) did in the same time frame, I am cynical about the goodwill of the above “request for pardon applicants.”
    To me, this is another example of Pres. Obammer (the Black Narcissis) making an empty gesture to the Left. Earlier examples include (1) his codification of Bush Jr.’s illegal invasions of Americans’ privacy rights; (2) US AG Eric Holder’s promises to respect law-abiding med MJ dispensaries in states where they are legal, and US ATTY for CA Belinda Haag’s crusade to close all Calif. dispensaries; (3) Obammer’s recent interview the New Yorker where he piped the Cannabis Movement’s line, only to be publicly reproached, rebuked and repudiated — without consequence — by his own hireling, DEA Chief Leonhart.
    Balack Obama is a quisling. If he stands for anything beyond his own personal enrichment (and most vainglorious luster), it is a tepid support for the Afro-Am Cause. He can’t be accused of standing for principles of the Demo Party because of finger-pointing white party leaders who sacrificed its New Deal/Fair Deal/Great Society vision for their Racist Diversion called Affirmative Action and white-bashing “multi-culturalism.”

  2. Cole says:

    >>>”“This is where you can help,” he said. “You each can play a critical role in this process by providing a qualified petitioner — one who has a clean record in prison, does not present a threat to public safety, and who is facing a life or near-life sentence that is excessive under current law — with the opportunity to get a fresh start.”

    So only people facing a life or near-life sentence for marijuana deserve a fresh start?

    Why doesn’t EVERY marijuana political prisoner deserve a fresh start?

    I suppose they can’t let justice happen too fast. They’re trying to sneak past the fact that EVERYONE who has had a hand in persecuting marijuana consumers is guilty of far worse crimes than the people they put in jail.

  3. An “unusual” move? More like, holy cow! Now, if only we were seeing a little more movement with the FDA.

  4. they know the damn people in prison for the crimes. they know the damn records of everyone.

    why do they need our help?
    fuckin bullshit country is this ?

  5. Socrates Mile High on

    Expunge
    ALL cannabis related offences. End this despicable nightmare for so many of our
    brothers and sisters.

  6. I don`t agree with clemency for crack – cocaine dealers , but for any one that was convicted of possesion of cannabis yes

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