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What Clemency Will Actually Look Like

The Justice Department, and Deputy Attorney General James Cole in particular, have been broadcasting loud and clear that they intend aggressively to seek out, and recommend the granting of Presidential clemency for, hundreds if not thousands of federal inmates.  We have been assured, of course, that only non-violent inmates will be included, and that there will be no or negligible risk to public safety.

Do you believe that?

One way of assessing how future discretionary release decisions are likely to be made is by looking at how the present ones are made.  And that's where an item in today's News Scan comes in.  It referred to a Fox News story to the effect that, last year,  "Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  released more than 36,000 'convicted criminal aliens' who represented a total of 88,000 convictions." 

I think the story is more notable than just recounting it in the News Scan might suggest, not least because it's a window into how much we can trust the Administration's promise that its clemency grants will not degrade our safety. 
For those who think Fox News might present a biased account, I looked up the CBS story instead.  What I found is that the Fox News account considerably understates how scandalous, and alarming, this matter is.

The CBS story starts (emphasis added):

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 36,007 convicted criminal aliens last year who were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings, according to a report issued Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The group of released criminals includes those convicted of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault, according to the report, which cites a document prepared by the ICE.

A majority of the releases were not required by law and were discretionary, the organization says.

According to the report, the 36,007 individuals released represented nearly 88,000 convictions, including:

      • 193 homicide convictions
      • 426 sexual assault convictions
      • 303 kidnapping convictions
      • 1,075 aggravated assault convictions
      • 1,160 stolen vehicle convictions
      • 9,187 dangerous drug convictions
      • 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions
Good grief.  Based on what is called "discretion"  --  but in any sober parlance would be called "wanton indifference to public safety"  --  the Administration is unleashing its own crime wave.

The story then notes that, "Studies have shown that fewer than a quarter of aliens who are released from custody while awaiting the outcome of immigration proceedings will show up for immigration court to finish their case."

Gosh, who woulda guessed?  When you release thousands of dangerous criminals  --  including killers, rapists and  thugs of every stripe  --  they don't dutifully report back for their hearing!  Amazing!!

But wait  --  ICE officials have reassured us:

ICE issued a statement in response to the report, saying that most of the individuals described in the report were released under restrictions, such as GPS monitoring, telephone monitoring, supervision or surety bond.

Whew!  We can rest easy.  When your daughter is getting raped by one of these characters, she can dial in to their "telephone monitoring" or, the next morning (if she makes it to the next morning), can file a complaint with the bail bondsmen. 

Still, the Department of Homeland Security and ICE had another point:

The organizations said that in some cases, the ICE was required by law to release the individuals from custody.

"The releases required by court decisions account for a disproportionate number of the serious crimes listed in the report. For example, mandatory releases account for over 75% of the homicides listed," the statement said. "Others, typically those with less serious offenses, were released as a discretionary matter after career law enforcement officers made a judgment regarding the priority of holding the individual, given ICE's resources, and prioritizing the detention and removal of individuals who pose a risk to public safety or national security."

Translation:  About 50 convicted murderers, and hundreds or more likely thousands of other violent and dangerous convicts, were released  --  ready now?  -- "as a discretionary matter" by the same sort of government officials who'll be making the clemency recommendations that will go up the chain to the White House.

Well, no, I have to correct that.  The initial cuts at the coming mass clemency will not be made by "career law enforcement officers."  Instead, they'll be made in coordination with the criminal defense bar, then passed upon by a new Pardon Attorney who, to my knowledge, has never spent ten minutes investigating or prosecuting a case.

You wanted a preview of what the coming clemency is going to be like?


Courtesy of the Administration, you have one.


Obama has been unable to pass an amnesty bill through the democratic process so he does the next best thing-emasculate the laws on the books through deceit and subterfuge.

Right Bill. Only "non-violent" criminals will be released just as only "law-abiding illegal immigrants" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) will be allowed to stay in this country.

"The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement released nearly 40,000 convicted criminal aliens who were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings while in detention, according to a recent report by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The criminals’ infractions include convictions for drunk or drugged driving, aggravated assault, flight escape, dangerous drugs, vehicle theft, kidnapping, sexual assault, and homicide. Overall, the 36,007 criminals released in 2013 had about 88,000 total convictions."


LOL Sorry, Bill. I only read the first paragraph and see that you were referring directly to the story I provided. Oops!

No problem! I'll take that as a double endorsement.

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