in Links

Obama Plans Broader Use of Clemency to Free Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Peter Baker of The New York Times:

In his second term, Mr. Obama embarked on an effort to use clemency and has raised his total commutations to 43, a number he may double this month. The initiative was begun last year by James M. Cole, then the deputy attorney general, who set criteria for who might qualify: generally nonviolent inmates who have served more than 10 years in prison, have behaved well while incarcerated and would not have received as lengthy a sentence under today’s revised rules.

Overincarceration is a real problem. Like any decent lawyer, I’ll cite a few reliable sources.

I don’t have an answer. Longtime readers will know I’m a cynical bastard, despite my best efforts to the contrary. It seems to me like this move is more for the “optics” and less for real effect, but I’d love to be wrong.

Primary source: White House press release

Photo by me