& News Concerning National and
International Criminal Justice Themes
By Kenneth Abraham - Guest Blogger
Ken Abraham is a criminal justice advocate who is helping people with criminal records to obtain Pardons and/or Clemency/Sentence Commutations. We invited Ken to explain the differences to the readers of prisonist.org.
A Pardon is issued by the Governor of a State, and forgives one for his/her crimes (some states have other methods to achieve a pardon, such as a Pardons Board). The details vary from state to state, but the process is much the same. In some states it restores your rights, in some jurisdictions it does not (in which case the next step might be to file to have your record expunged). If you call me I would be pleased to discuss the details with you.
If you were convicted in Federal Court, the process is a little different – the application goes to the U.S. Department of Justice and then to the President.
To qualify for a pardon you should generally have NO arrests within approx. five (5) years of applying (again, different jurisdictions have different requirements). With a few short questions about your situation, I can determine whether you have a reasonable chance of obtaining a pardon.
A Sentence Commutation (some states call it Executive Clemency) is an application to have a sentence reduced, in order to get a prisoner released sooner than his/her original release date. The application in most states goes to a board of state officials, and then to the Governor. Again, I can describe the entire process to you, and with a few questions realistically assess your chances.
With a either a Pardon or a Clemency/Sentence Commutation application, there are no guarantees. The decision is within the discretion of the officials involved.
Ken Abraham graduated from Dickinson School of Law (now part of Penn State), was a law clerk for the Delaware Supreme Court, was a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Delaware, and was in private practice of law with emphasis on criminal and domestic relations litigation. He left the full-time practice of law in 1983 to go into business, but has been immersed in criminal justice issues for the past 9 years. To read Ken's full bio, go to www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net and click on “Board Members." Ken can be reached at 302-423-4067, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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