Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/4/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Constitution does not guarantee inmates the right to legal representation in such procedures

In yet another setback for the Obama administration, a plan to extend clemency to thousands of prisoners was quelled last week after the agency that oversees the federal courts said that hundreds of federal public defenders as well as other court-appointed attorneys were not authorized to represent inmates in the process.

Ideal candidates for clemency would have been nonviolent, low-level drug offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations.

Ideal candidates for clemency would have been nonviolent, low-level drug offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/4/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Clemency, Constitutional law, Obama administration, non-violent offenders


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Laid out in a memorandum written by the top lawyer for the Administrative Office of the Courts, the ruling effectively forbids lawyers from drafting or submitting clemency petitions. The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee inmates the right to legal representation in such procedures.

"There is no Sixth Amendment right to counsel for purposes of seeking executive clemency and no statutory right, except in capital cases . there is no authority under the CJA [Criminal Justice Act] or other law to appoint counsel in non-capital clemency proceedings," General Counsel Robert Loesche wrote In a memo circulated to federal defenders and the chief judges of all U.S. district and appellate courts.

SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --

Under that particular interpretation, federal defenders, whose salaries are paid by the government, and court-appointed private attorneys, who receive federal reimbursement when they are called in for service, could not legally be paid for representing clemency candidates.

It's definite setback for a coalition of legal and advocacy groups that acted of the Justice Department's behest to lead the clemency effort. The decision was heralded as a cornerstone of the administration's criminal justice reform agenda.

It would sideline many lawyers who have come to know their clients' cases intimately over years of work, requiring them to turn over the task of filing clemency petitions - which draw on a prisoner's personal and legal history - to new attorneys.

The administration's clemency drive since January has relied heavily on the defense bar to carry out its vision, with the federal defenders assuming a lead role.

Underlying the clemency drive was the discrepancy in sentences thousands of federal inmates are currently serving, as well as those they would have faced had they been arrested and tried under today's prosecuting and sentencing reforms. The clemency effort would address concerns of fairness by shortening those sentences as well as alleviating the budgetary strain of the large federal prison population.

Ideal candidates for clemency would have been nonviolent, low-level drug offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations. They would also have had to serve at least 10 years of their prison sentences, not have a significant history of crime or violence and have demonstrated good conduct in prison.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for NOVEMBER 2016
Universal:
Countries Receiving Refugees: That the countries which take in a great number of displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts which show solidarity.
Evangelization: Collaboration of Priests and Laity: That within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

'I will kill you all' -- Trump chooses Mad Dog Mattis as Sec. of Defense Watch

Image of General Mattis will be the next Secretary of Defense.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President-elect Donald Trump has selected General James "Mad Dog" Mattis as the next Secretary of Defense. The Marine Corps general will be formerly announced on Monday. General Mattis has a reputation as a scholar and a fighter and is very popular with the troops. LOS ... continue reading


Why Catholics support Trump's pick for the next Secretary of Health and Human Services Watch

Image of Tom Price med with pro-life applause.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

Pro-life groups praised President-elect Donald Trump's announcement that he would name Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "In particular, Rep. Price's strong pro-life values and record to ... continue reading


The next House minority leader will be a pro-abortion Catholic, HERE'S WHY Watch

Image of

By Catholic News Agency

When the Democratic Party makes its decisions about leadership at the end of the month, the House Minority Leader will be a self-proclaimed "pro-choice Catholic." Washington D.C. (CNA) - Both current House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, and her challenger, Rep. Tim ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood smugly reports surge in donations - so they don't need your tax dollars anymore, right? Watch

Image of Shown: The 'I lie for a living' starter pack.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Trolls have sent over 200,000 donations to Planned Parenthood in Vice President-elect Mike Pence's name. The movement is an attempt to protest the possible defunding of the organization under a Trump-Pence administration. Mike Pence has taken a hard line against the ... continue reading


Now the hard work begins! Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

For those of us using the Gospel and Catholic social teaching as our voting guide, choosing between the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates was an absolute dilemma.    Hillary Clinton's hawkish military attitude, like her vote to authorize ... continue reading


How will Trump deal with the UN? Don't look to his campaign promises -- look to how he views himself Watch

Image of Get rid of the ugly green marble slab. That'd be an improvement.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What will Donald Trump do to the UN? So far, there is considerable speculation and few details. Reporters are trying to dig up his old remarks to get some sense of how Trump will deal with the U.N. and the many international crises the country faces. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Already great! Trump bans lobbyists, to meet with Japan PM, GOP warned to expect 'sweeping legislation' Watch

Image of Goodbye lobbyists!

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump continues to work harder than most presidents in history, and he hasn't even taken office yet. Today, his team continues to work on their transition while meeting with foreign officials, taking phone calls from dignitaries, and Trump announcing a lobbying ... continue reading


Catholic Coalition of Advisors finds Trump listens well to Catholic concerns Watch

Image of Secretary Jim Nicholson said he thinks Trump is a good listener and will do well.

By Marshall Connolly, (California Network)

According to the Catholic Coalition of Advisors and others, Donald Trump has been a "very good listener" when it comes to Catholic concerns. Deacon Keith Fournier, Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Online, is a member of this advisory board. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


GET OUT! Donald Trump to deport 2-3 million criminal aliens Watch

Image of President -elect Donald Trump pledged to deport two million illegal criminal aliens as soon as he takes office.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump said he plans to deport millions of illegal immigrants as soon as he is president. He made the remarks on 60 Minutes which aired on Sunday. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - President-elect Donald Trump is ready to deport between two and three million ... continue reading


Disintegration! Desperate Democrats may appoint Liberal Muslim as party chair Watch

Image of Democrats may appoint liberal Muslim Keith Ellison as their next party chair.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Democrats may be preparing to elect a Muslim from the Midwest as their next party chairperson. Rep. Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim, is gaining support from the liberal left of the Democratic Party. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Democrats are in a tailspin. ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
19 Yes, people of Zion living in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh -- it is good to sing psalms to our God -- how ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:35--10:1, 6-8
35 Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 3rd, 2016 Image

St. Francis Xavier
December 3: St. Francis Xavier was a Navarrese-Basque Roman ... Read More