Reorganizing the Federal Clemency Process
The Heritage Foundation, No. 206, May 2017
5 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2017
Date Written: May 21, 2017
The President relies on the Department of Justice to filter out ineligible applicants and recommend from the remainder which ones should receive clemency, but the department suffers from an actual or apparent conflict of interest. One proposed remedy would be for Congress to create an independent advisory board like the U.S. Sentencing Commission to review every clemency application and offer the President its recommendations. A better alternative would be for the President to move the Office of the Pardon Attorney into the Executive Office of the President and use the Vice President as his principal clemency adviser. The Vice President can offer the President several benefits in the clemency decision-making process that no one else in the government possesses.
Keywords: Clemency, Clemency Power, Pardons, Pardon Clause, Pardon Power
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