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    Saturday
    Jul182015

    A New Clemency System is coming to California

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

    --Fredrick Douglas--

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    This 1400 word SF Bayview news article explains how clemency; the most powerful tool in criminal justice, has been used and abused over the life of this country. The article also explains why I believe it is time to place this tool for justice in the control of citizens. I do have a "How it works" draft document that I will gladly share with interested individuals upon request.

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    Its biblical: Exodus 18: 14-27

    14 And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?

    15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:

    16When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.

    17 And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.

    18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.

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    Radio talk-show host, Rush Limbaugh; who knows knowing about this idea, made a statement that suggests it is time to change who controls our clemency powers.

    During a rant last week, Limbaugh criticized the president for sending 46 personal letters, to the people whom he granted computations for, and not sending one letter to the family of a woman killed on a San Francisco Pier, allegedly by a man who some believe should not have been released from a San Francisco jail by the SF sheriff's department due to him being in the country illegally. 

    The President of the United States is too busy to be handling matters of who is fit to be given a second chance, if you will. A president can devote more time to sending letters to victims if he did not have the task of scolding or encouraging the incarcerated whom he or she will most likely never see.

     

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    Wednesday
    Jul152015

    We need a New Clemency Sysytem in 2016

     

    Tuesday
    Mar222011

    A Constitutional Amendment Proposal

    Background:

    CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE
    SECTION 4800-4801
     

    4800.  The general authority to grant reprieves, pardons and commutations of sentence is conferred upon the Governor by Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution of the State of California.

    4801. (a) The Board of Parole Hearings may report to the Governor, from time to time, the names of any and all persons imprisoned in any state prison who, in its judgment, ought to have a commutation of sentence or be pardoned and set at liberty on account of good conduct, or unusual term of sentence, or any other cause, including evidence of intimate partner battering and its effects. For purposes of this section, "intimate partner battering and its effects" may include evidence of the nature and effects of physical, emotional, or mental abuse upon the beliefs, perceptions, or behavior of victims of domestic violence if it appears the criminal behavior was the result of that victimization.

    Proposed Constitutional Amendment:

    1. Repeal the authority of the governor’s power to grant clemency and any sentencing commutations in the State of California under penal code section 4800.

    2. Adopt a new law for clemency protocol as the State's standard practice known as the California Clemency Boards by its inventor Allen Jones. This new clemency process would supersede all known and unknown laws in the State of California dealing with clemency and sentencing commutations. The California Parole Board shall send all recommendations to the new Sacramento office of California Clemency Boards under penal code section 4801.
    Under this new clemency system, a new clemency board shall be created to handle all requests for clemency, commutations and compassionate prisoner releases in State of California. At least one county clemency board shall be established in every county in the State of California to handle considerations for clemency, commutation and compassionate releases due to possible injustice on the part of the State, including prison overcrowding.
    Five citizens randomly selected; using voter or jury pool information, whom reside in the county where the inmate was convicted will judge cases from that same county. If the citizens agree to sit on a clemency board for up to one week, they will be compensated for their services. Service is not mandatory, but the sum of $100.00 a day for the week’s service will be paid within 30 days of the end of service.

    Board members will also be prescreened before sitting on any panel. Board members will review inmate request for clemency, early release, reduction of sentence. While in session, they may review multiple requests for that week’s session.
    Private Citizens, prisoner rights groups and professionals in the field may also petition the board on behalf of an inmate. The citizens of the California Clemency Board will have the power to release any qualified prisoner (once every seven years per individual) reduce his or her sentence. Members of the board can also use their common sense in viewing respected investigative journalism such as “60 Minutes”, “20/20” etc. in granting clemency to an inmate. They may also give a citizen reprimand with a granted release attached to board member’s conditions. Member of the board can choose to take no action if they feel the prisoner was treated in a satisfactory manner by the prison system or judicial process.

    An inmate can apply for a one-time appeal if he/she has been denied release, commutation or compassion by his or her county clemency board. However, the appeal will take place in another county; also randomly selected, from any one of the other 57 counties of California.

    The California Clemency Board will also have the power to grant clemency for humanitarian reasons. This act includes the granting of a State of California pardon to former felons who have turned into pillars of society, which includes no criminal activity in any state of the United States for a yet to be determined time. Release of nonviolent prisoners under established guidelines when prison overcrowding is at unsafe levels will prevent prison overcrowding permanently shall be determined by review of prisoner Central file “C-file” along with prison input.

    Any county who receives a California Clemency Board released prisoner shall also receive from the prison budget the sum of $8,000.00 per release for rehabilitation/reentry services. The county must have State approved rehabilitation services in place to receive these prison budget funds. And the released inmate must register with the county rehabilitation agency within 30 days of release to be eligible for assistance.

    3. Create a State elected clemency administrator (2 four year terms) to handle all affairs of this new agency, including that prisoner requests are delivered to the county level in a timely manner and make rulings on fairness or fraud in the clemency board.

    The first administrator (Secretary of Clemency) appointed shall by law, the inventor of this new agency at no pay to establish California Clemency Boards. Thereafter, the governor will retain power to appoint any vacancy other than due to expired elected term.

    THE CITIZENS OF THE CALIFORNIA CLEMENCY BOARD AND NOT THE ELECTED ADMINISTRATOR WILL HAVE THE FINAL SAY ON CLEMENCY AND COMMUTATIONS. 

    Special note:

    California Clemency Boards is not a get out of jail free card for those bent on committing crime and has many safe guards to prevent abuse of this new clemency process.

    UPDATED: July 18, 2015

    Wednesday
    Mar162011

    California Clemency Boards

    California Clemency Boards is currently a pie in the sky idea that I created to address the issues of injustice in the California prison system. This includes but is not limited to prison overcrowding. The best feature is that it eliminates prison overcrowding permanently, saving billion without risking public safety.

    California Clemency Boards could be described as real, power to the people. This would make it very dificult for overzealous prosecutions. It also contains chcks and balances against prison officials. Proven injustice on the part of the state, COULD LEAD TO THE RELEASE OF A PRISONER.

    California Clemency, as I like to call it, is a 21st century clenemcy system that offers another opportunity to those who have done wrong and deserve to be given another chance in society, by the people of society. In addition, it is designed to help gain the release of innocent prisoners without having to navigate through the current appeals process, which can take years.

    I claim that releasing nonviolent and non-serious offenders can be done safely. If we follow up a release, with proper rehabilitation and incentives, like an official pardon for those who have not returned to any prison of the United States for a certain amount of time. We could greatly reduce the current 70% recidivism in the state of California. 

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-11-04/bay-area/24811645_1_paroled-secretary-matthew-cate-prison

    California Clemency streamlines the release process for those who are proven factually innocent before a board and not a court which can take years of appeals.

    California Clemency has many benefits. Listed below are a few, however, no prisoner release program will work without a strong rehabilitation program.

    1. Taking clemency powers from the governor, judges and the "3 Strikes law" sentencing and giving new clemency power to a county board of average citizens.

    2. Save taxpayers of the State of California billions in incarceration cost.

    3. Permanently eliminate prison overcrowding by monitoring prison levels and releasing nonviolent prisoners who qualify early to prevent unsafe prison population levels. 

    4. Make the prison and parole system more effective in concentrating on the serious and violent offenders.  

    5. Cause prosecutors to think twice before using their powers to abuse the justice system. 

    6. Offer hope to those who have been wrongly convicted without going through the many years and layers of appeals. (Claifornia Clemency's highest priority)

    7. Streamline the current humanitarian release program for terminally ill prisoners.

    8. California Clemency can be modified for other states or federal use. Once congress sees its success I expect it to see a reluctanly congress create a new federal clemency system.