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Archive for Sunday, December 11, 2011

Brownback has no plans to pardon any Kansas inmates

December 11, 2011

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Gov. Sam Brownback will not be giving any Kansas inmates the gift of freedom this year.

None of the 37 clemency petitions filed in 2011 asking the governor for a pardon will be granted as the year comes to a close.

“The governor has no plans to issue any pardons before the end of the year,” said Sherriene Jones-Sontag, press secretary for the governor.

The Kansas Constitution gives the governor sole authority to issue pardons, but applicants file the petition with the Prison Review Board. The board reviews applications and sends them to the governor’s office.

Pardons, which do not erase a person’s conviction but free him or her from prison or parole obligations, are not common in the state. Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius issued only one pardon during her six years as governor: in 2009 to a Kansas businessman convicted of drunken driving. The man had been having difficulty entering Canada for business because of the conviction.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, however, issued four pardons during his less than two years as governor.

Three of those pardons went to members of the “Wichita 8,” a group of black men convicted by an all-white Sedgwick County jury in 1969 of various robbery charges. In 2009, Parkinson pardoned Wichita 8 member Samuel Jarvis Hunt, followed by Frederick Umoja and John Manning at the very end of his term in early 2011. All three were assisted by the Kansas University’s Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies.

Parkinson also pardoned Orvel Bald Ridge, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, in early 2011. Ridge was convicted of assault in the 1970s, and was planning to run for office in the Cherokee Nation, but needed a pardon to do so.

Comments

grammaddy 2 years, 7 months ago

C'mon Brownback, pay it forward.

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somebodynew 2 years, 7 months ago

Hey, this is the first thing he has done correctly since he has been here !!!!

Oops, shouldn't have said that outlound, there is still time for him to change his mind.

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friendlyjhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

He isn't pardoning anybody else in the state so why would he pardon prisoners?

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

As a Christian, doesn't he have an obligation to open the prison doors? Perhaps he only has faith while at Mass on Sunday morning...what a hypocrite!

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ignatius_j_reilly 2 years, 7 months ago

"As a Christian, doesn't he have an obligation to open the prison doors?"

Wow. Why do you say that? Christianity is about forgiveness, yes, but it is also about accountability. It's about protecting the weak against those who would prey on them. Sounds like you're criticizing an idiot by being idiotic yourself -- hypocritical, if you ask me.

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Jimo 2 years, 7 months ago

"Christianity is about forgiveness, yes, but it is also about accountability."

Oh yeah, the famous "accountability" section of the Sermon on the Mount. Sheesh.

Wow, indeed. Even an atheist would be more forgiving.

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ignatius_j_reilly 2 years, 7 months ago

More forgiving? Forgiveness on a personal level and allowing convicted criminals to roam free are different. So under your vision of Christianity, Christians would be hypocrites if they imprisoned anyone? I sure hope you don't have children.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

Try reading Isaiah 61:1.

The spirit of the lord god is upon me because the lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prisons those who are bound.

You and I live in the real world just as Governor Brownback does. Nobody would suggest that murderers and sex offenders should be released. But with the thousands in prison and countless more on probation, surely at least one of these people in Kansas deserves compassion.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

I guess my real point is why is he a Christian when it comes to the right to life / pro choice debate, but not when it comes to the state providing for the weakest among us like cutting funding for schools, closing state hospitals and the KNI, closing SRS offices, and oh yeah not showing compassion to people who have made one nonviolent mistake and turned the corner.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

Didn't Ford pardon Nixon? It would be interesting for someone who knows anything about presidential and gubernatorial pardons to explain under what set of circumstances these are typically offered.

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ignatius_j_reilly 2 years, 7 months ago

I'd agree with you on Brownback being a hypocritical fool that gives Christians, Republicans and Kansans a bad name. But I'm discussing this issue, and your totally baseless remarks have missed the mark, unfortunately. Again, this isn't about every single imprisoned Kansan. It's dealing with less than 40 prisoners, who have requested a pardon -- just as I would, even if I were guilty of the most heinous crimes.

Which is more pathetic? Christians mistakenly hating while they should be loving, or a bitter atheist who just hates all day long? At least the Christian tries from time to time.

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ignatius_j_reilly 2 years, 7 months ago

Sure -- tell me who. If someone has been wrongfully convicted, set them free. Read the article -- it's happened recently. But I'd like to know who on that list deserved freedom. I'd freaking apply for a pardon even if I did it; how about you?

It's a list of less than 40 people who applied for pardons -- who, specifically, deserves one? We're not talking about "one of these people in Kansas" here.

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Jimo 2 years, 7 months ago

When volume after volume of analysis shows that our courts have an unmistakable racial bias in prosecution and conviction and sentencing, when a month doesn't go by without some sad figure exonerated by DNA, the attitude that says 'all convictions are just' and 'if anything, every sentence is too weak, not too strong' is itself obscene -- and thoroughly and irredeemably UN-Christian.

Doubly so for a nation that incarcerates its own people at the highest rate in the world (for example: 7x the rate in Canada, 7x Australia, 7x Europe, etc.) Either every other country on earth is a Wild West of lawless criminals "preying on the weak" or the U.S. is overflowing with people in prison who have no business being there.

We see this miscarriage of justice daily. 850,000 criminal prosecutions for food stamp fraud costing $500M but 15,000 criminal prosecutions for financial fraud costing $15,000,000M. Whatever your beliefs about justice in this life, fundamentally, it ain't justice if it doesn't start with priorities. The claim that Brownback can't find a single person to pardon is absurd.

Our predecessors were fully aware that justice can be miscarried, many of them themselves having been wrongfully imprisoned or condemned, and purposefully wrote into our constitutional structure the absolute and unreviewable power--and responsibility--for our chief executive to be open to and, indeed, even searching out miscarried justice ... and then making it right.

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ivalueamerica 2 years, 7 months ago

He has made it clear, his Christian values related to forcing others to believe as he does through government regulation, his Christian values do NOT include forgiveness, doing unto others, feeding the hungry or ending the suffering of Children.

That seems to make him very popular with the evangelical movement and that makes me wonder what the new right wing evangelicals have to do with Christianity?

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