Skip to content

CLEMENCY -- CRUSHED: Lawyers forbidden from drafting clemency petitions

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/4/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (
8/4/2014 (3 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 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption.
That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.


More Politics & Policy

North Korea asks for peace, seeks meeting with President Trump Watch

Image of President Trump has scored a major victory.

President Trump is on the verge of the greatest win of his presidency, a meeting with North Korea. The dictator of the Hermit Kingdom, Kim ... continue reading

Archbishop Gomez: 'Cruel' to use DACA recipients as 'bargaining chips' Watch

Image of Archbishop Gomez has criticized the use of DACA recipients as 'bargaining chips.'

Although the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections did not expire on March 5, the passage of the original deadline has ... continue reading

Bishops ask for DACA protections Watch

Image of

After the Senate failed to pass a bipartisan bill that would offer protections for immigrants, U.S. bishops noted their disappointment and ... continue reading

President Trump's second State of the Union speech surprises with 75 percent approval Watch

Image of President Trump delivered a triumphant State of the Union speech that earned high approval ratings.

Americans are overwhelmingly approving of President Trump's second State of the Union address. The speech has been given a 75 percent ... continue reading

Controversial memo that exposes government abuses to be released - Speaker Ryan calls for FBI cleanup Watch

Image of The FBI could be in trouble if allegations are true.

House Republicans have voted to release a controversial memo that describes government abuse of surveillance powers. The information is so ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

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

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 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 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.