ABSTRACT

Constitutional Means to Prevent Abuse of the Clemency Power, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventeenth Congress, First Session, February 9, 2021   [open pdf - 29MB]

This is the February 9, 2021 hearing on "Constitutional Means to Prevent Abuse of the Clemency Power," held before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the Committee on the Judiciary. From the opening statement of Steve Cohen: "We begin this Congress by picking up on a topic that we devoted two hearings to in the previous Congress, which is the proper scope and use of the President's constitutional power to grant clemency. The clemency power is outlined in article II, section 2 of the Constitution, and is rightly broad. The clemency power's purpose is to Act as a safety valve for our criminal justice system, to correct system injustices, and to ensure that mercy tempers excessively harsh punishments. [...] The Subcommittee will commit itself to pushing for more expansive use of the clemency power, an effort that I hope will be bipartisan, because we are talking about freedom, and we know both caucuses appreciate freedom. When considering what is the proper scope and use of the clemency power, however, there is another matter to consider, which is whether there are or should be limits on the power when a President grants clemency for self-serving or corrupt purposes, rather than as an Act of mercy. Presidents of both parties have issued controversial pardons that raise these kinds of questions, which is why they have been longstanding interests of this subcommittee. Such pardons are often not in keeping with the purpose of the clemency power." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Caroline Fredrickson, Karen Hobert Flynn, Josh Blackman, and Timothy Naftali.

Report Number:
Serial No. 117-1
Publisher:
Date:
2021
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U. S. Government Publishing Office: http://www.gpo.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations