Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 30, 2015

Justice Department Invites Inmates to Seek Clemency

The Justice Department “unveiled the most ambitious federal clemency program in 40 years, inviting thousands of jailed drug offenders and other convicts to seek early release as part of a new program intended to correct sentencing injustices and relieve prison overcrowding,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Though eligibility restrictions may limit how many prisoners are ultimately released to several hundred, experts said they had not seen such a sweeping use of presidential clemency power to achieve a policy goal since President Ford’s amnesty for Vietnam draft dodgers in the 1970s.”

“The program is part of a campaign being waged by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to scale back the use of mandatory sentences and reduce the overall prison population, particularly among African American drug offenders serving long sentences for nonviolent crimes.”

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