Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Clemency in the Rick Perry era
Digging around this morning in the Board of Pardons and Paroles recent annual reports, I compiled this table regarding recent gubernatorial clemency decisions. These data reflect the number of full pardons considered by the board and the number approved by Governor Rick Perry:
In my own mind, I probably hadn't given the parole board enough credit for how many clemency recommendations they make compared to the meager number Governor Perry ultimately signs off on. They recommended 147 people for full pardons during this period, and Governor Perry signed off on just 38 of them - many of those DNA exonerees. Overall, among those seeking a full pardon whose cases were heard by the full parole board, just 4.2% ever received clemency.
RELATED: "The quality of mercy is not strain'd," particularly when it doesn't have to do any heavy lifting