ACLU Statement on Trump Administration Pardons

January 20, 2021 8:15 am

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NEW YORK On early Wednesday morning, the Trump administration announced over 100 presidential pardons, including political allies and contributors, Trump family friends, and others.

In the following statement Cynthia Roseberry, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Justice Division highlighted the opportunity that this last minute flood of pardons creates for the incoming Biden-Harris administration:

“Today’s pardons highlight the opportunity that the incoming Biden-Harris administration has: to show how to do clemency the right way and not in a politically motivated last-minute fashion. The incoming administration can begin to fix the harms created by 40 years of failed tough-on-crime policies, like the infamous 1994 crime bill, and change the current model of clemency to one that focuses on categorical grants of clemency for the people impacted by those harms. This includes people who, if convicted under existing laws, would serve a lesser sentence than what they are serving, and people convicted of drug offenses.

“The American public recognizes that a broken criminal legal system has unjustly incarcerated hundreds of thousands of Black and Brown people for generations. The Biden-Harris administration can begin the process of redemption for those people and their communities by using clemency to correct systemic injustices and end imprisonment that is unjust or no longer necessary.”

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