Democrat legislators pushing for bills to improve and expedite the federal clemency procedure had little inclination to credit former President Trump for his efforts toward justice reform.
Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley responded to a query about Trump’s efforts on the justice system reform. She said the 45th president exploited the power of pardon to gratify the wealthy and influential, as well as his good friends.
The Department of Justice’s Flaws
Pressley presented the Fix Clemency Act earlier this month, establishing an impartial clemency board to consider requests to reduce federal sentences.
According to bill supporters, the present system for evaluating clemency and parole requests may take many decades; matters are closed with very little openness. More than 15,000 clemency petitions are pending at the ministry.
Today, there are over 15,000 people waiting for their clemency applications to be reviewed.
Our Clemency system is inherently flawed & needs reform.
— Weldon Angelos (@weldon_angelos) December 10, 2021
At the insistence of Kim Kardashian, Trump awarded mercy and clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, who was imprisoned for minor drug trafficking convictions.
However, during his final days in office, Trump granted a slew of controversial pardons, including those to his former adviser Steve Bannon, Charles Kushner (the father of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner), and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
According to Pressley, clemency should be utilized as a humane instrument for individuals who an unfair system wounded.
Disbanding the Pardon Attorney Office
Under Pressley’s plan, the Department of the Pardon Attorney in the Department of Justice will be disbanded.
A nine-member board to consider clemency claims would be established in its stead. Board members would be appointed by the president, who has statutory pardon authority. One of those individuals would have to be a formerly jailed individual.
In response to the obligation to have a formerly jailed person on the board, Pressley stated she thinks suffering people should be generating and guiding policy solutions.
Democrats are bound and determined to make this happen by any means possible, at this time. The head of the House Democratic Caucus, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, stated the age of mass imprisonment must come to an end.
He said the period of mass emancipation must commence, and the Fix Clemency Act will play a significant role in making that happen.
— Prison_Health (@Prison_Health) December 14, 2021
Jeffries hoped for previous bipartisan collaboration on issues, such as the First Step Act, would foreshadow a bright future for this bill.
At a news conference earlier in the month, Jeffries stated prison reform has luckily become a bipartisan topic in recent years. Also, he expects the Fix Clemency Act to be judged on its own merits, and if it is, they ought to be able to get it passed.
Pressley stated she has not yet contacted any Republicans who support the measure, but claimed she will begin looking for support from the opposite side of the political aisle.