Skip to content

CLEMENCY -- CRUSHED: Lawyers forbidden from drafting clemency petitions

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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JUNE 2017
National Leaders.
That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.


Comments


More Politics & Policy

Democrats are the real Republican MVPs and here's why Watch

Image of Nancy Pelosi is the real MVP of the Republican party.

Nancy Pelosi, long the reigning queen of the Democratic party, is about to lose her crown. Under her leadership, the Democratic Party has ... continue reading


Why do liberals want to kill conservatives? Here's a list of liberal threats and attacks on conservatives since mid-2016 Watch

Image of In his own words, liberal terrorist, James Hodgkinson wanted to kill as many Republicans as possible.

When people don't like the outcomes of political decisions, they can become passionate. There was no shortage of conservative outrage ... continue reading


BREAKING: Jerusalem has fallen Watch

Image of Islam is the only religion in the world intent upon spreading by militant means. True believers, people who understand the Koran as written and who follow Islam as it was practiced for centuries after Mohammad, will not stop until they are contained, dead, or have converted the world to their belief. We know because they look us in the eye and tell us so.

The Crusades never ended. Despite popular belief, the world's most ardent Muslims covet Jerusalem. And they have no intention of ending ... continue reading


Islam is not a religion of peace, and here's what should be done to stop it spreading Watch

Image of It is no coincidence the Islamic State uses the seal of Muhammad as its official symbol.

There is only one kind of Islam in the world, and the politically correct ignore this fact at their peril. To understand the risk posed by ... continue reading


Is a new rule coming from the Trump administration to protect religious freedom? Watch

Image of Trump may be preparing to defend religious freedom with a new rule.

Washington D.C., May 31, 2017 / 03:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A leaked draft of a federal rule that would protect religious organizations from ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.