Clemency and Pardon

RSS Feed for this category

FAMM urges broadening of commutation use

Judiciary Committee questions Libby commutation; FAMM urges broadening of commutation use On Wednesday, July 11 in Washington, D.C., the House Judiciary Committee will investigate President's Bush's show of mercy to White House insider Scooter Libby. The hearing will consider the use and misuse of Presidential clemency power for executive branch officials. Although Mr. Libby’s high-profile commutation merits discussion, Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) has written to the committee urging it to also explore how commutations should be used to reduce excessive sentences of deserving, nonviolent federal prisoners. Click here http://www.famm.org/Repository/Files/Letter_to_Conyers%5B1%5D.pdf to read FAMM's letter. Many such prisoners have applied for and not received commutations, although they have served long portions of their sentences and their behavior in prison has been exemplary. It is especially troubling that many prisoners wait years to receive a decision and some petitions filed as far back as 2000 have not been acted upon. In 2001, President Clinton commuted the sentences of nearly two dozen nonviolent drug offenders, all of whom served significant portions of their lengthy mandatory sentences before their release. These individuals rejoined their communities and became productive citizens. Click here http://www.famm.org/oldsite/October/FAMMGRAMS/2001/Spring%202001%20commu... to read more about them. Julie Stewart, president and founder of FAMM, says, "President Bush should grant commutations to the deserving individuals who have sought them. By granting commutations, the President will show mercy, do justice, and prove that clemency is available to all deserving prisoners and not just to the well-connected.” Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is a national non-partisan nonprofit organization that promotes just sentencing policies. Many of FAMM's members are prisoners, children and families torn apart by unjustifiably harsh mandatory minimum penalties. Click here http://www.famm.org/ExploreSentencing/TheIssue/FacesofFAMM.aspx to read their stories.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Libby's Independence Day

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
San Francisco Chronicle
URL: 
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/07/03/EDG6QQ4TM41.DTL

President Bush's Commutation Total Just Increased by 50%!

Bush pardons turkeys and political allies but lets
half a million nonviolent drug offenders rot. The news just broke that President Bush has commuted Scooter Libby's sentence, leaving him with a conviction and a $250,000 fine. Most of the fine is going to be paid by his allies. This might not bother me as much -- I'm generally not a big fan of prison -- were it not that Bush has been such a "pardon Scrooge" during all of his now many years in office. In fact, as of last November the total number of commutations he had done numbered a mere two, according to SF Chronicle columnist Deb Saunders. What a coincidence that of all of the two million people languishing behind bars in this country, the vice president's former aide was one of only .00015% of them -- three people -- who deserved to be spared prison time! I've been watching drug policy, and criminal justice generally, for the last 14 years, and the sheer hypocrisy in this instance even blows me away. Either George Bush proceeds now to release nonviolent offenders in droves -- thousands and thousands of them -- or calling him a hypocrite will be the understatement of the millennium. Clarence Aaron and the Garrison twins would be three good people to start with. (Update: The president cannot commute state sentences, so change the .00015% I referred to earlier to .0015% instead. On the other side of the equation, though, a much higher percentage of federal incarcerations are of nonviolent drug offenses than of state incarcerations.)
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Sentencing: Tyrone Brown is a Free Man!

Tyrone Brown, the Dallas man sentenced to life in prison in 1990 for smoking a joint while on probation for an armed robbery in which no one was injured, walked out of prison in Huntsville Thursday after receiving a conditional pardon from Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). The pardon came after ABC News' 20-20 featured his story twice, helping to create a nationwide grass roots effort to win his freedom, Save Mr. Brown.

Brown was met by relatives and journalists, according to an Associated Press report filed from Huntsville. He broke into a broad smile as he embraced his mother, Nora Brown. "I didn't believe this day was going to come," he said.

Under the terms of the pardon, Brown will have to live with his mother, find a job, go to a therapist, and report to a parole officer. If he violates any of those conditions, the pardon could be revoked.

Brown was 17 when he was convicted of armed robbery. After he tested positive for marijuana once, Judge Keith Dean re-sentenced him to life in prison. The harshness of Judge Dean's sentence for Brown, which he has never explained, stands in sharp contrast to his treatment of well-connected, white John Alexander Wood. Wood was convicted of murder, but Dean sentenced him to probation, where he repeatedly tested positive for cocaine. But instead of sending him to prison, Dean gave him permission to quit reporting to his probation officer and quit taking drug tests.

With the glare of the national spotlight on the case, Judge Dean (by now ex-Judge Dean) joined a long list of local law enforcement officials calling on the governor to free Brown. Thanks to their efforts, as well as the efforts of muckraking media outlets and an aroused populace, one drug war prisoner has gone home. That leaves about 499,999 to go.

Gov. Perry Pardons Man's Life Sentence For Pot [Tyrone Brown]

Location: 
Austin, TX
United States
Publication/Source: 
Dallas Morning News
URL: 
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/031007dnmetpardon.35307679.html

Parole board recommends pardon for man serving life on drug bust

Location: 
Dallas, TX
United States
Publication/Source: 
KGBT Television (TX)
URL: 
http://www.team4news.com/Global/story.asp?S=5966092&nav=0w0v

Prisoner Advocacy: Sample letters in Support of Tyrone Brown

[This post comes courtesy of our friends at November Coalition Foundation] Hello Friends: Below is a sample letter that can be sent to members of the Board of Appeals (Texas) on behalf on Ty Brown as presented by the Save Mr. Brown.com group: Dear Texas Board of Parole and Pardons, I was stunned when I watched the 20/20 program a few weeks ago that explained the crimes and punishments of two men who appeared in front of the same judge, Judge Keith Dean. The first man, John Wood, murdered an unarmed male prostitute in the back. Judge Dean sentenced him to 10 years of probation. Mr. Wood violated probation by testing positive for cocaine, but he received a mere slap on the wrist—a postcard probation. The second man, Tyrone D. Brown, was involved in a $2.00 stick-up at age 17, and he also was given a 10 year probationary sentence. Mr. Brown violated probation for marijuana, but, instead of receiving a slap on the wrist like John Wood, Judge Dean sentenced Mr. Brown to life in prison. Mr. Brown has served over 16 years of his life sentence, and he remains in Allred Unit today. Both Judge Dean and Dallas County District Attorney Bill Hill have agreed that Mr. Brown’s punishment was too harsh a penalty for the crime Tyrone committed. I humbly ask that you join Judge Dean and Mr. Hill in their persuasive recommendations to this Board and to Governor Perry. Mr. Brown has paid his debt to society, and he should be released immediately. You can be assured that Tyrone will have a solid support group awaiting him after he is released. His mother, Nora, has already arranged his bedroom in anticipation of Tyrone’s arrival, and a licensed Psychologist has agreed to offer his services free of charge to Tyrone and the Brown family. With the psychologist’s professional guidance and the support of several organizations around the country that are closely monitoring this case, Tyrone’s transition into a life outside of prison walls will be made as smooth as possible. Today, as a young man’s fate lies in your hands, I hope you will extend mercy to Mr. Brown, allow him to contribute to society, and reunite him with his family before Christmas. I sincerely appreciate your consideration. Kind regards, _____________ Board of Appeals addresses: Rissie L. Owens Huntsville Board Office 1300 11th St., Suite 520 P.O. Box 599 Huntsville, TX 77342-0599 936-291-2161 936-291-8367 Fax Jose Aliseda, Jr. San Antonio Board Office 2902 N.E. Loop 410, Suite #206 San Antonio, TX 78218 210-564-3721 210-564-3726 Fax Charles Aycock Amarillo Board Office 5809 S. Western, Suite 237 Amarillo, TX 79110 806-359-7656 806-358-6455 Fax Conrith Davis Huntsville Board Office 1300 11th St., Suite 520 P.O. Box 599 Huntsville, TX 77342-0599 936-291-2161 936-291-8367 Fax Jackie DeNoyelles Palestine Board Office 207 E. Reagan Palestine, TX 75801 903-723-1068 903-723-1441 Fax Linda Garcia Angleton Board Office 1212 N. Velasco, Suite 201 Angleton, TX 77515 979-849-3031 979-849-8741 Fax Juanita M. Gonzalez Gatesville Board Office 3408 S. State Hwy. 36 Gatesville, TX 76528 254-865-8870 254-865-2629 Fax ___ Nora Callahan Executive Director November Coalition Foundation 282 West Astor Colville, WA 99114 (509) 684-1550 Working to end drug war injustice, the November Coalition is nonprofit educational foundation -- donations are tax deductible. Visit us on the web at http://www.november.org
Location: 
United States

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School