Clemency Possible for Potentially Thousands of Federal Inmates
On Wednesday, April 23rd, the Department of Justice formally announced its new initiative to ease overcrowding in federal prisons and to add more fairness to non-violent inmates convicted of drug offenses. This is fantastic news for the thousands of inmates currently sitting in federal prisons for non-violent drug convictions.
The Department of Justice has replaced its head pardon attorney, notorious for forwarding very few petitions to the White House, with Deborah Leff, who spent her years at DOJ working on the Access to Justice Initiative.
Although somewhat complex, the clemency process doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you know somebody that is a federal inmate serving time for a non-violent drug crime, they may be eligible for presidential clemency under this new initiative!
What Brought this about?
The initiative started with the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which stated that the federal sentencing practice of treating crack cocaine one hundred times harsher than powder cocaine was an unfair practice. Congress, however, did not make this sentencing change retroactive.
Last year, the US Supreme Court held in two cases (Dorsey and Hill) that the Fair Sentencing Act at least applied to defendants who were sentenced after the Act passed, even if their offense occurred before it.
However, even with this decision, and the statement that old crack cocaine sentences were totally unfair, these developments didn’t do anything to ease unfair sentences to inmates already behind bars for crack cocaine crimes.
This past Christmas season (2013), president Obama commuted the sentences of 8 federal inmates convicted of these offenses. Public reaction was positive, but was followed up with, “What about the thousands of others just like these?”
Presidential pardon and commutation power exists to remedy situations where the criminal just system has failed. Up to last December, Obama had denied more petitions in one year than any other president in history.
We Can Help
PCR Consultants has already received many inquiries about this initiative, and we’re very excited to help long-incarcerated federal inmates taste freedom again.
PCR Consultants can help determine whether your incarcerated loved-one is eligible for this sentence reduction via executive presidential clemency.