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Obama’s clemencies: Serious questions | TribLIVE.com
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Obama’s clemencies: Serious questions

The National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys is objecting to President Obama granting clemency to 91 convicted drug dealers and, in so doing, ignoring his own standards.

As the group documents, these were not all “non-violent, low-level offenders,” as detailed in “very specific criteria” for clemency, The Washington Times reports. Some were armed and “the vast majority” were involved in large distribution conspiracies, said Steven H. Cook, the association’s president.

When asked about the association’s position, the office of David Hickton, the U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania, said he, instead, supports the Dec. 18 statement from Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates. She called the president’s decision “another sign of this administration’s strong commitment to ensuring fairness in the criminal justice system.”

Common sense in sentencing first-time, non-violent offenders is one thing. And, yes, we have the greatest respect for Mr. Hickton. But we have serious questions as to whether “fairness” involves opening the gates to hardened criminals and allowing them to pick up where they left off.

In the very least, the administration should comply with the request from the prosecutors to provide all information involved in the decisions to release the drug dealers. Anything less would be an affront to justice.


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