Advocates Call for Better Regulations Governing the D.C. Clemency Board

The Clemency Board Establishment Act of 2018 gave the District an opportunity to create its own, local Clemency Board. Currently, the path to clemency is winding and almost always results in a dead end. Proving this is a broken system, of the 2,822 clemency grants issued by five presidents since 1989, only one single person with a D.C. conviction has been granted relief.

D.C. now has the opportunity to take another step toward local control of its criminal legal system, to set its own process and priorities for evaluating clemency applications, and to add commutations and pardons back to the set of legal tools at our disposal for granting relief from extreme sentences and ending the mass incarceration of Black people.

While the new law does not empower the Mayor to grant clemency herself, it creates a direct path to the President and expands eligibility for clemency to people convicted under the D.C. Code. But the Clemency Board regulations proposed last month by the Mayor’s Office of General Counsel will prevent us from achieving those goals.

For more details see CLICK HERE to see the OpEd piece by Josephine Ross, Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law, and Casey Anderson, Communications Manager, Council for Court Excellence

To find out how to take action, CLICK HERE to learn how to provide comments on the new Clemency Board regulations.