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NEWS
January 18, 2011
With momentum building for clemency on behalf of Jonathan Pollard, those involved in his conviction are again coming out of the woodwork with fabrications of fact and misleading statements. Last week Joseph DiGenova, the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case, was quoted in the Washington Times as alleging it had cost the Defense Department between $3 billion and $5 billion to fix the damage Mr. Pollard caused. Haviland Smith, a retired CIA station chief, charged in The Baltimore Sun ( "Freeing Pollard would be a terrible mistake," Jan. 12)
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NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | April 27, 2014
It swallowed people up. That's what it really did, if you want to know the truth. It swallowed them up whole, swallowed them up by the millions. In the process, it hollowed out communities, broke families, stranded hope. Politicians brayed that they were being "tough on crime" -- as if anyone is really in favor of crime -- as they imposed ever longer and more inflexible sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. But the "War on Drugs" didn't hurt drugs at all: Usage rose by 2,800 percent -- that's not a typo -- in the 40 years after it began in 1971.
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NEWS
January 21, 2013
The recent commentary by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. ("Obama's unpardonable neglect of clemency," Jan. 13) was particularly interesting and pointed. In these days of concern about the death penalty, an always important topic aimed at the Democratic political base, few politicians indicate any concern for clemency. It has always been a position of risk. I recall that Governor Ehrlich did this. In his column, he correctly points out that more Republican governors have established histories of clemency and post-conviction relief than have their Democratic colleagues.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 27, 2014
The U.S. Justice Department's announcement last week that it would seek clemency applications from thousands of federal prisoners was a major departure for an administration that has made minimal use of its powers to grant inmates early release. But the potential freeing of thousands of inmates is not completely unknown for the federal justice system — and advocates for shorter sentences say experience shows prisoners can be released without harming the public. Previous changes to sentencing rules have led to early release for tens of thousands of inmates serving time for crack convictions.
NEWS
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | January 13, 2013
One of the under-reported promises made by Congressman Ehrlich in the gubernatorial campaign of 2002 was to re-energize the pardon power in Maryland. My advisers thought it a bit loony to make the pledge, since the race promised to be close and there was little political advantage to be gained. After all, Gov. Parris Glendening had framed his clemency strategy with one brief line - "life means life" - to minimal criticism from his liberal base. Still, I thought it an essential element of the job description to "do justice" through the exercise of this extraordinary power.
NEWS
November 28, 2003
WHEN KAREN LYNN Fried was sentenced to life in prison in connection with the murder of a 13-year-old friend, it was with the understanding that she could one day be paroled. That's what anyone would expect who received a sentence of life with the possibility of parole, especially a 17-year-old girl who had her whole life ahead of her. But the man who could have considered Ms. Fried's pleas for clemency adopted his own rule: no parole for lifers convicted of murder or rape. Gov. Parris N. Glendening's policy withstood a court challenge in 1999 -- which underscored the ultimate power of Maryland's chief executive on matters of an inmate's liberty.
NEWS
May 15, 1991
If the case had involved anyone else in any other country, it's likely there would be no voices decrying the guilty verdict and six-year sentence meted out by a South African judge this week to Winnie Mandela for her part in the 1988 abduction and assault of four Soweto youths, one of whom was later found murdered near her home.Despite South Africa's discriminatory criminal justice system, the evidence presented in court by government prosecutors was sufficient to warrant a finding of guilty, and the judge acted well within the law in imposing a prison term for Winnie Mandela's crimes.
NEWS
December 30, 2006
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. granted clemency to 16 people yesterday and issued one medical commutation to a man diagnosed with AIDS. Since 2003, Ehrlich has issued 231 clemency orders, according to a statement. Yesterday's clemency went to: Ernest C. Atkinson Jr., 58, convicted of larceny in 1971 and two counts of larceny after trust in 1975; Derrick D. Dew, 41, convicted of distribution of phencyclidine and possession with intent to distribute heroin in 1986; George Diggle, 35, convicted of breaking and entering in 1989; Jose M. Fernandez Sr., 53, convicted of malicious destruction of property in 1977; and Carolyn D. Gray, 40, convicted of misdemeanor theft in 1998.
NEWS
By Jason Song and Jason Song,SUN STAFF | February 26, 2005
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. granted clemency to six convicted criminals yesterday, including a man who was found guilty of murder for his role in the 1975 shooting of a Hagerstown grocer. Ehrlich considered about 20 clemency requests, according to his spokeswoman Shareese N. DeLeaver. "These are the ones he found" worthy, she said. Charles Terrell Walters, Jr., 56, of Hagerstown, described by state officials as a model inmate, had his life sentence commuted. He and another man were convicted of breaking into R. Charles Hull's grocery store on March 15, 1975.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan and Timothy M. Phelps, The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2014
The U.S Justice Department invited thousands of federal convicts on Wednesday to request their release from prison, a measure that could have an outsized effect in Baltimore, where U.S. prosecutors have worked closely with local authorities. The Obama administration's plan is intended in part to lessen harsh sentences handed down under laws enacted amid fears about crack in the mid-1980s but rolled back since then. Judges have reduced many prison terms as drug distribution laws changed, but their powers have been limited by mandatory minimum sentencing rules.
NEWS
April 24, 2014
There are about 7,000 people serving federal prison sentences for crimes related to crack cocaine who would not still be there if they had, instead, possessed or sold powder cocaine. That's the non-sensical and costly result of Congress' panic over the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s - and one that has profoundly unjust consequences since blacks were more likely to use crack and whites more likely to use powder cocaine. In 2010, Congress acted to reduce that disparity in mandatory minimum sentences, but that did no good for all the people already in prison.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan and Timothy M. Phelps, The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2014
The U.S Justice Department invited thousands of federal convicts on Wednesday to request their release from prison, a measure that could have an outsized effect in Baltimore, where U.S. prosecutors have worked closely with local authorities. The Obama administration's plan is intended in part to lessen harsh sentences handed down under laws enacted amid fears about crack in the mid-1980s but rolled back since then. Judges have reduced many prison terms as drug distribution laws changed, but their powers have been limited by mandatory minimum sentencing rules.
NEWS
March 18, 2013
I agree with Kenneth Lasson's article "Obama should free Pollard" (Feb. 27). Mr. Lasson made a good point in comparing the president's very low record of clemency grants to that of past Presidents like Lincoln, Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Bush. Meanwhile, numerous illegal immigrants, drug pushers, and other more hardcore criminals have been released from our prisons as part of the president's recent sequester cuts. Also, in Israel there have been thousands of terrorists released from prisons (some with blood on their hands)
NEWS
January 21, 2013
The recent commentary by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. ("Obama's unpardonable neglect of clemency," Jan. 13) was particularly interesting and pointed. In these days of concern about the death penalty, an always important topic aimed at the Democratic political base, few politicians indicate any concern for clemency. It has always been a position of risk. I recall that Governor Ehrlich did this. In his column, he correctly points out that more Republican governors have established histories of clemency and post-conviction relief than have their Democratic colleagues.
NEWS
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | January 13, 2013
One of the under-reported promises made by Congressman Ehrlich in the gubernatorial campaign of 2002 was to re-energize the pardon power in Maryland. My advisers thought it a bit loony to make the pledge, since the race promised to be close and there was little political advantage to be gained. After all, Gov. Parris Glendening had framed his clemency strategy with one brief line - "life means life" - to minimal criticism from his liberal base. Still, I thought it an essential element of the job description to "do justice" through the exercise of this extraordinary power.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2012
Since his arrest as a young teenager 29 years ago, Mark Farley Grant has never wavered: He did not kill Michael Gough that winter night in West Baltimore. On Thursday, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed an executive order commuting the sentence of Grant and a Washington, D.C., woman also serving life for murder — the first time O'Malley has used the power during his tenure. Grant's attorney hopes he will walk out of prison before Christmas, "if not long before. " O'Malley "had not to this point granted any clemency requests, so I am extremely grateful to him for exercising his ability to do so in Mark's case," said Renee M. Hutchins, who runs the law clinic at the University of Maryland's Carey School of Law. "I'm firmly convinced of Mark's innocence, so I could not be more delighted.
NEWS
February 21, 1991
The majority of callers to SUNDIAL believe Gov. William Donald Schaefer was correct in granting clemency to eight women convicted of killing their husbands or boyfriends. The majority of callers also believes that state law should be changed to allow spouse abuse as a defense.The eight women were victims of what experts call battered spouse syndrome. But, because of state law, they had not been allowed to raise the defense of abuse at their trials.Of 530 callers yesterday, 346, or 65 percent, said they agree with Schaefer's decision, while 184, or 35 percent, said they disagree.
NEWS
By Andrew A. Green and Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF | June 25, 2005
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. granted clemency yesterday to two men convicted of nonviolent crimes. Earlier in the month, he pardoned seven others who had been convicted of offenses ranging from shoplifting to assault. Yesterday's clemency awards went to Melvin Burley, 51, who was convicted of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver in 1978; and Alcure Walker, 44, who was convicted of carrying a handgun in 1995. Both had long since completed their sentences. The earlier pardons, granted June 6, went to: Timothy Branham, 40, convicted of breaking and entering in 1982; Gary Cooper, 37, convicted of misdemeanor theft in 1988; Claudio Ferrario, 42, convicted in 1986 of driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and failing to stop to identify himself after striking attended and unattended vehicles; Ronald Lent, 64, convicted of assault in 1962 and disorderly conduct in 1963; Patricia Ray, 52, convicted of shoplifting in 1973; and Tonya Roberts, 34, convicted in 1984 of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 6, 2012
Gov.Martin O'Malleyis taking steps to grant clemency to two Maryland inmates serving life sentences, including a Baltimore man convicted of murder at age 14 - the first time he has proceeded that far on such an action. Aides said public notices will be posted Wednesday that the two cases are under consideration. Officials say the notices are intended to solicit public feedback, and decisions could be made by the end of the month. During his tenure as governor, O'Malley has denied early release for 57 inmates recommended for release by the state's parole commission.
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