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.
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