Friday, May 19, 2017

Clemency: A dangerous legacy?


This business of Bradley/ Chelsea Manning getting a pardon for treason is incomprehensible. What the hell was B. Hussain Obama thinking when he deemed to set free a person who betrayed his/her country and put us all at risk? And what about our intelligence agents overseas?

I remember seeing, a number of years ago, a movie in which a foreign agent acquired a list of American agents working in Europe. A number of agents were done in by agents from Russia and other enemies of the U.S. Of course the star of the movie got away but only by the skin of his teeth. I must apologize for a failing memory, but I do not remember the name of the movie.

Not only is the pardoning of Manning a travesty (there should be a rule that states when a dangerous  convict  is set free by an irresponsible president, the next president, or an act of Congress) has license to revoke the discharge and return the dangerous criminal to jail where he/ she belongs.) But Obama set free nearly 2,000 prisoners, many convicted of serious crimes, like rape and murder, treason, of course, being the most heinous. There’s something to be said for the concern of Obama in attempting to empty federal prisons of nonviolent criminals, which he claimed was his intent. There are many stories of people (and not just minorities) receiving long sentences for paltry crimes. This should be rectified. No one should be in prison for twenty or thirty years for having a couple of joints in his pocket. And judges should be barred for handing out such sentences.

But when Presidents consider  clemency for hard-boiled felons, he should have an eye on public safety. A couple of reasons why should suffice to illustrate the point.  Some of you may be old enough to remember the 1988 presidential campaign, Republican George H.W. Bush vs. Democrat Michael Dukakis. Dukakis had just vetoed legislation that would nix a controversial weekend furlough program in Massachusetts. One prisoner chosen to participate in the program was a guy named Willie Horton, a convicted murderer. Horton went on the road and did not return to prison. He did, however, kidnap a man and his girlfriend, stab the man and rape the woman, then steal the man’s car. Dukakis’ continued support of the furlough program cost him the election. Horton’s case is the most notorious, but there are plenty of others. For instance, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee can tell you about Maurice Clemmons, who was serving a 108-year sentence for robbery and theft. Governor Huckabee commuted his sentence to 47 years in 2000, making Clemmons eligible for parole. Nine years later, in November 2009, Clemmons walked into a Tacoma, Washington-area coffee shop and shot to death four police officers.

An observer of such proceedings must ask just what the hell these presidents think they are doing. If they offer early parole to inmates, why not chose those convicted of less-violent crimes. Chances of success would be must greater. Although the recidivism rate is higher than fifty percent, an opportunity to lower the number must be appealing.  And if one is running for president it may be a wise move to abandon the practice well before the election. (Huckabee lost any chance at a nomination due to his, dare I  say, stupid commutation of Clemmons sentence.

This near-the-end-of-term leniency isn’t the only foolishness these guys are up to. Under Obama’s reign, the U.S Sentencing Commission lowered the guidelines for a broad range of crimes, and made the reductions retroactive.  BO went crazy! The move triggered the largest release of prisoners  in U.S history. Something like 6,000 inmates found themselves free – they had served their sentences! I’ve been insisting for nine years that BO is an idiot – or he has intentions of destroying the country. He couldn’t quite pull it off himself so he’s released a gang of thugs to finish the job. I wonder how many of us will be robbed and killed because of the former president’s poor choices.

Of course, large and small groups of dumb-assed Democrats were (and are) sitting around sipping port wine and some kind of tea exclaiming that those who received pardons and reduced sentences are leading productive and law-abiding lives, and contributing to the community in meaningful ways. Well, maybe half of them are. The other half choose to go back for some of that yummy jail chow.
(I wonder how many of these ex-jailbirds have joined the rioters and anti-Trump crowds who are plaguing

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