Reform the Pardon Process

President Obama ought to order the Department of Justice to reform the pardon process. Access to a Presidential pardon could be an effective tool in motivating prisoners to commit to prison adjustments that would help them emerge as successful, law-abiding citizens. For pardons to serve as a force for good, however, the President must order […]

Action on Michael’s Petition for Commutation

Michael had some interesting/exciting news yesterday. He learned that someone from the US Pardon Attorney’s office called administrators at Taft Camp with a request for his most recent progress report. In late March, Michael submitted an updated petition for commutation of sentence to the US Pardon Attorney. His petition has been on file since 2003, but […]

Poor Prisoners Differ From Rich

Bernard Madoff swindled billions of dollars from thousands of victims. Despite his crime, a judge did not incarcerate him immediately upon the government’s discovery of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Scooter Libby was a lawyer and a highly placed official in the Bush administration. He was convicted of a crime and a federal judge sentenced Libby to […]

President Obama’s Prison Reform Advisor

If I were a policy advisor to President Barack Obama on the niche subject of prison reform, I would urge him to bring the exact leadership skills that have exemplified his young presidency. That means I would want President Obama to embrace the findings of academia, Congress, and think tanks. Those findings strongly suggest that […]

Thoughts on Pardoning Prisoners and Executive Clemency

My wife, Carole, received questions from Maya Schenwar, a reporter at who was writing about the pardoning process. Ms. Schenwar asked Carole about experiences we have had with our efforts to seek a Presidential commutation of sentence. The reporter and her readers were interested in changes to the executive clemency process under President Obama’s […]

A Long-term Prisoner’s Reaction to Bush’s Clemency Orders

As I sat watching the CNN broadcast on Monday evening, November 24, 2008, I read a streaming announcement on the bottom of the screen. President Bush had commuted the sentences of two federal prisoners and granted pardons to fourteen other people. Although that news should have filled me with optimism, I was filled with a […]

President Bush Will Pardon Turkey before Humans: A Pardon Primer

I am about to pass my 22nd consecutive Thanksgiving holiday as a federal prisoner. President Bush, I am sure, will take yet another opportunity to pardon a turkey. If history repeats itself, President Bush will not show such compassion to the more than 200,000 people serving time within the federal prison system. This President has […]