Tag: commutation

Osler: Pardon people, not turkeys

Ramsey Muniz is a seventy year-old man who walks painfully with the assistance of a cane.   He once ran for Governor of Texas; now he is housed in a federal prison built for gang members.  Ramsey has served almost twenty years for his alleged role in an imaginary drug deal that was produced and directed by the federal government.  Even if you think he is guilty, compassion and common sense dictate a humanitarian release.  But Mr. Muniz and thousands of other applicants for clemency and commutation are routinely rebuffed by the office of the president.  As law professor Mark Osler observes, Barack Obama has been far less willing to utilize his pardon pen than was the tough-on-crime Ronald Reagan.  Mr. President, how about some change we can believe in.

Pardon People, Not Turkeys

By Mark Osler

Star Tribune

Under President Obama, the odds of clemency or commutation are shamefully slim.

If President Obama follows tradition and pardons a turkey this week, it will be a ceremony rich in irony. While the president has been a regular dispenser of clemency to fowl, he has not been so generous to humans. It is time for that disjuncture to end. (more…)