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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.