I am about to head out to make sure I get to DC on time for tomorrow's exciting House Judiciary Committee hearing on Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence (basics here). And, thanks to former pardon attorney Margaret Love, I have some fitting reading for my trip. Margy has completed a small commentary entitled "Rethinking the President’s Pardon Power." Here is a snippet from the piece, which can be downloaded below:
There are many who believe that it is time to consider new approaches to criminal prosecution and sentencing, to reduce our reliance on incarceration and end the racial disparities resulting from our law enforcement practices. If the pardon power is to play a useful role in this law reform effort, as it has in past eras, public confidence in it must be restored. The criteria that presently exist in the Justice Department's policies are perfectly good ones. What needs improvement is the perceived fairness of the pardon process, the regularity and frequency of pardon grants, and above all the president's commitment to using the power in an intentional and generous fashion.
More on clemency, including the Libby commutation, is here.