Every president has played a role in pardoning certain criminals who are currently in jail. In April, the Obama administration stated that it was working toward an “expedited process” for criminals who fall under certain criteria. These criteria include the following:
– Those who do not have a significant criminal history
– Criminals who do not have connections to large scale criminal groups or gangs
– Those who do not have a history of violence, before and during their current jail time.
– Those who have been in jail for at least a decade of their term
– Those who are noticed for their good behavior while in jail
– Those who, if they were charged for the same crime today, would have gotten a lesser sentence.
Prior to this, many professionals found it interesting that the arrangement did not talk about “first time guilty parties,” however rather concentrates on those without a “noteworthy criminal history.” They are very different, and are open to interpretation on all ends. That wording, while offering adaptability in the decision making, is sure to bring about issues when it comes to applying it. Those who read the wording may also note that the sympathy toward peaceful conduct before going to jail and “great behavior” in jail, meaning that they see the need to emphasize non-violent crimes. In the midst of all of this, a few people have started to question if “no history” excludes anybody with clemency or who have had their criminal history expunged (for example, those who were charged with crimes when they were minors and then got their records removed).
Of course, this brings up a number of different questions as well. How fast will the applications go through? Will people have to wait a long period of time still, or will the expedition process make it so that their application only takes a few weeks to get completed if they fit into those categories? What other issues could come up as a result of the whole thing? Could people get through that don’t have any right to get through at all? As time goes on, we will have to see how this gets applied and if the courts will have to step in for any part of the proclamation. There will, of course, likely be people who are opposed to these changes, but that’s how it works with any law that deals with pardons.