Monday, November 22, 2021

Biden pardons two turkeys...

 ...but we are still waiting on the first human pardon.

Not a good look for a President who said he would be open to criminal justice reform.  

The New York Post covers Biden's response to the question of when to expect some real pardons:

As if there was any doubt — “Peanut Butter” and “Jelly” will not be on the Thanksgiving dinner table this year.

President Biden pardoned turkeys named after the common kids lunch ingredients Friday, continuing a pre-Thanksgiving tradition in the Rose Garden after he laughed off a question about whether he would also pardon human beings — as clemency advocates asked him to honor his pledge to free “everyone” in prison for marijuana offenses.

“Will you be pardoning any people in addition to turkeys?” The Post asked Biden as he returned to the White House after receiving a physical and colonoscopy at Walter Reed Medical Center outside Washington.

Biden, wearing aviator sunglasses, pointed at a reporter and joked, “Are you — you need a pardon?” In response to a follow-up question about whether he would free pot inmates, whom he vowed to release during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Biden said, “just turkeys.”

This is why we really need judges to grant more compassionate release motions and issue large variances.  There's no reason why America should lead the world in people imprisoned and lead the world in length of sentences.   

One reason we see these numbers is the "trial tax."  Clark Neily from CATO just wrote an important piece about how rare trials are and how we need to get back to the basics in our criminal justice system -- the right to a trial without fear of an enormous sentence.  The intro:

The most remarkable thing about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial is that there was a trial at all.

The vast majority of criminal prosecutions in our system are not resolved by trial but instead by an ad hoc and often extraordinarily coercive process that we refer to euphemistically as “plea bargaining.” Because of the way it unfolded, however, the Rittenhouse case sheds important light on our decision to generally substitute plea bargaining for constitutionally prescribed jury trials, in open defiance of the Founders’ deliberate and very wise decision to make citizen participation integral to the administration of criminal justice. The lesson here is clear: We can be certain that other prosecutions would collapse as spectacularly as Rittenhouse’s if we reined in the government’s ability to spackle over weak cases with coerced pleas.


Anonymous said...

If it was good enough for President Bartlet, it's good enough for President Biden.

Anonymous said...

Really? Your client is petitioning the UN to spring her from American jail?

Oh, poor Ghislaine Maxwell! Unjustly accused and persecuted like Nelson Mandela! Where's the outrage?!