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DOJ Announces Broadened Clemency Criteria for Drug Offenders

On Monday, the Justice Department announced it would soon be implementing new and broader criteria for drug offenders seeking clemency.

Today, the Justice Department announced the new criteria. It is a welcome sea change:

The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday.

The new criteria:

  • They are currently serving a federal sentence in prison and, by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense(s) today;
  • They are non-violent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large scale criminal organizations, gangs or cartels;
  • They have served at least 10 years of their prison sentence;
  • They do not have a significant criminal history;
  • They have demonstrated good conduct in prison; and
  • They have no history of violence prior to or during their current term of imprisonment.

Thank you Obama Administration. This is what change looks like. [More...]

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Huckabee and Wayne Dumond: Interview With Dumond's Attorney

Former Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is taking a lot of heat these days over his clemency decisions while Governor -- particularly that of Wayne Dumond. Huckabee's latest statement, released today, is here.

This is a complicated tale. For the facts of the Dumond - Ashley Stevens rape case, and why Huckabee might have had doubts about Dumond's guilt, based on problems with the scientific evidence and Stevens' identification of Dumond, there's no better source than the appellate court opinions on the case. Here are four of them:

TalkLeft contributor Last Night in Little Rock also known as John Wesley Hall, was Wayne Dumond's post-conviction attorney. In addition to seeking post-conviction relief in the state courts, John represented Dumond in his federal habeas actions, the pre-Huckabee clemency request and in the civil case against Sheriff Coolidge Conlee, who displayed Dumond's castrated testicles on a jar on his desk. John obtained a $150,000.00 verdict for Dumond for the tort of outrage. The Sheriff later died in prison while serving his own 20 year sentence for extortion, gambling and other crimes. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/26/96, available on Lexis.com)

An interview with John about Dumond's sentence commutation and clemency, the roles of former Lt. Gov. Tucker, Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee, Dumond's castration and his thoughts on Dumond's original rape conviction, from evidentiary doubts to the sentence disparity, follows:

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