In addition to the good news about the crack sentencing reductions being retroactive, another piece of modest good news is that Pres. Bush granted some clemencies, including a few drug offenders. Via the Associated Press
- Jackie Ray Clayborn, of Deer, Arkansas, sentenced in 1993 to five months in prison, two years of supervised release and $3,000 in fines on marijuana charges.
- John Fornaby, of Boynton Beach, Florida, convicted in 1991 of conspiring to distribute cocaine. He served three years in prison.
- Bush cut short the 1992 prison sentence of crack cocaine dealer Michael Dwayne Short of Hyattsville, Maryland, who will be released on February 8 after serving 15 years of his 19-year sentence.
Let's include this one too, just to keep things in the holiday spirit (even though we don't oppose having reasonable regulations on legalized substances):
- William James Norman of Tallahassee, Florida, convicted in 1970 for possessing and running an unregistered distillery that did not carry the proper signage and illegally produced alcoholic drinks made from mash. He was sentenced to three years probation.
Clemencies are a good thing, so I feel bad about using a negative-sounding headline. But it's important, because these few additional actions still leave George W. Bush far behind other presidential administrations in use of the pardon powers, even behind the pardon-parsimonious George Herbert Walker Bush. Interestingly -- and perhaps not coincidentally -- the US Pardon Attorney
's office has not updated the sections of their web site listing clemency recipients and statistics since the end of the Clinton administration. They don't even include George W. Bush in the list of presidents. (I've saved copies of those two pages to prove it, in case they finally get around to updating those pages.)
More importantly, we've heard from list members whose family members have clemency petitions in that not only have their loved ones not been released, they haven't even heard back from the office with any decision, not even a "no." If I remember correctly, FAMM
has charged that the backlog in the office is literally in the thousands.
Come on George, I've said it before, and I'm saying it again -- WE WANT PARDONS!!!!