Very Few Prisoners Seeking Commutations Meet DOJ’s Picky Criteria for Consideration
May 17, 2016

“Yesterday Clemency Project 2014, a consortium of volunteer lawyers who are helping the Justice Department identify promising candidates for commutation, announced that it has sent more than 1,000 petitions to the DOJ’s Office of the Pardon Attorney. The project has been contacted by more than 36,000 prisoners since it was established two years ago. Ezra Dunkle-Polier, a spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, one of the groups participating in the project, says about 6,000 cases have not been considered yet, while another 5,500 or so prisoners were eliminated because they withdrew from the program or were about to be released. Of the 24,500 or so prisoners whose cases have been completely reviewed, just 4 percent met the DOJ’s criteria for special consideration.”

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