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Old 09-29-2017, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Juniesgal View Post
NO, none of it is lost on me. I am sorry you took it like that. Yes, I am very aware of how many hours ppl worked, how many thousands and thousands of clemency applications were put forth, and that no one was paid. I am aware, as my husband is an atty. I know how much he does- on his own time. I am sorry but I disagree, not every person tht tries to defend themselves does it because they want to. Some feel like they need to, some dont understand that a PD is an actual attorney ( and some of the best around). They don't understand that in some places ( like where we live) every PD is also a private practice atty that is taking their rotation. I dont need to re-examine the thread, I have a right to my opinion. I was just stating some facts, that not every app was received by Obama. Thousands upon thousands that were vetted, were not seen by him. I found tht comment " If it was denied by Obama, there was good reason" to be discouraging. You dont know if it was denied by him, none of us know. And the person that posted the link, maybe it was a family member or friend, and they were looking for support, not a lecture on the subject. Isnt this a supportive forum? Yes, there are harsh realities, this is a prison, criminal issues forum that we are dealing with, and helping each other deal with. I was showing some empathy. The sarcasm wasn't lost on me. But it may have been on someone else. Manning was a high profile case that got "singled out" attention. For lots of reasons. The majority of apps for clemency were not high profile cases. They were everyday people, in prison. I'm sorry you took my response, my opinion, so personally. As someone whos worked in prison, and someone that has a LO in prison, I felt just fine voicing my opinion on those topics. If thats lost on you, then thats you.
And as somebody who takes cases on rotation who has a brother in prison, I'm sorry you think that I'm lacking in understanding of the situation.

We are talking clemency packages - very different than representation in court.

Clemency and post conviction relief beyond the direct appeal (not including death row cases), are largely handled by inmates, usually as a result of funding issues. The Obama clemency for lifers issues was different. It was a concerted effort to work with the Obama administration to right the wrongs caused by federal mandatory minimum drug laws. No, i don't know that Pres. Obama actually laid eyes on the clemency petition of this one person. That's not how it worked. All the clemency packages went to the administration and a group of attorneys looked over every ap, forwarding the ones that met the requirements laid out by Obama to Obama for signature. Unlike our current president, Obama is an attorney and a former con law professor. He laid out his requirements for signature. His administration actually went through all of the apps received and weeded them down accordingly, sometimes sending requests back for more information before the decision to act was made.

This is quite different than past administrations where the flurry of federal clemencies hand down at the end of the administration struck mostly white collar friends or favors to legislators, usually with something of a stink of cronyism or worse about them.

But hey, federal clemency cannot touch on state law and state inmates, it is one of the interesting things that makes the current administration interesting - with the clemency of Arpaio, it has placed more of a working relationship between some federals and some states (mainly New York) to ensure that once a person who trump deems a friend gets convicted, that conviction is in state court. It is only in this way that such convictions stand and the rule of law is not thwarted by the whim of the executive.

It's just too bad the clemency process started by Obama has been shut down. Again, we go to an arbitrary (and imho capricious) clemency process by the executive without a real sense of justice to the process. Because trump has not been touched by the mandatory minimums of the drug laws of the 90's (and other truly unfair laws), he pardons Arpaio. Gotta wonder if there are a few Enron and WorldComm felons on his list for pardon....

But, you want to call me out and my post out on this, you are going to get backlash. You want to talk about this, I'm more than willing to talk. I participated. I worked to procure more attorneys to the cause.

Btw, yuor jurisdiction sounds about as small as some of mine. Btw, you do know that in larger jurisdictions in towns and cities with a law school, there are PD clinics that send third year law students to the PD (and both the city and state's attorney) as students allowed to practice in those offices. Such people are not licensed, but their work is overseen by licensed attorneys. And, some courts have interns and clerks who work under the auspices of judges, writing their opinions. Such people are not attorneys, though most are lawyers. So, not all PDs are licensed attorneys. My first job was working for a federal judge. I was hired before I even scheduled my bar exam, and you know how that works - bar exams are given twice a year, usually with months after the exam before the results are published, and there can be months in some states before licensure. And from there, it can be six months or more before you qualify for the federal bar. So yes, there is a whole slew of people working in the courts as attorneys and as those writing the judge's opinion, who are not attorneys.

But most of us are licensed attorneys. And we will tell a client how to fire us and get new counsel if they so desire. And we are scrupulous in our own ethics and will seek to have new counsel appointed should the case arise.
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