Time is running out for thousands of people who have been holding out hope that they or their loved ones might be granted clemency before President Obama leaves office. Obama has freed more than 1000 people in recent years, granting clemency to more people than the past 11 presidents combined. But now is the time for even bolder and more courageous action. Trump has vowed to be a “law and order” president and has praised the horrific, murderous drug war in the Philippines. He has nominated as his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, a man who not only has a history of overt bigotry, but who has been a primary opponent of criminal justice reform in Congress. For those who believed America’s drug war was winding down, I fear I hear the engine of mass incarceration revving up again. The stock market hears it too — private prison stocks have soared since Trump was declared president. One can only wonder if Trump — a man obsessed with proving his “toughness” — will ever find anyone worthy of clemency.<br><br>The word clemency means mercy, lenience. It is granted in a spirit of generosity and compassion, an implicit acknowledgement of the universality of human suffering and failing. Obama has granted a record number of clemency petitions because he is well aware that the drug war has been a spectacular failure, needlessly destroying countless families and lives. Obama has acknowledged his own frequent, illegal drug use in his youth, not just marijuana but cocaine as well. Surely he knows that if he had not been raised by white grandparents in Hawaii — if he had been raised instead in the ‘hood — he, too, would most likely be cycling in and out of prison today rather than serving as president of the United States. Clemency reflects an impulse to extend compassion rather than resort to unrelenting punitiveness.<br><br>Trump, by contrast, is the embodiment of our worst human impulses. If that sentence is not self-evident to you, we need to have a conversation much longer than what can transpire in a Facebook post. What I simply want to say here is that there would be no better demonstration of what it means to embrace an alternative vision of America than to set free all those who have been unfairly shamed, demonized, condemned and treated as disposable in the recent domestic wars we’ve waged on poor people and people of color. These wars (supposedly on drugs and immigration, but really on people) are directly traceable to the very same racially divisive politics and fear mongering that swept Trump into the presidency last month. By granting mass clemency to those who have suffered the most for the least crimes, Obama would demonstrate through deeds — not just words — what it means to be a nation that treats every human being as though their life matters. <br><br>PICO has launched a petition urging President Obama to grant mass clemency to non-violent, federal drug offenders convicted of low-level drug offenses and to pardon all those who fear mass deportation and the destruction of their families as a result of civil immigration infractions, such as overstaying a visa or unlawful employment. I have signed this petition, and I hope you will as well. <br><br>Color of Change is also urging mass clemency, focusing more narrowly on the clemency process itself. This petition urges Obama to rapidly accelerate the clemency process for low-risk categories of non-violent offenders and to expand who’s eligible for relief by considering people who did not get retroactive consideration under the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 or who failed to file for clemency or filed their clemency petition late. I have signed this petition too. <br>See https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/obama-clemency-before-jan20/?t=3&akid=6599.1469225.PjrZBF<br><br>Right now, thousands of people are holding on to the audacity of hope — the hope that the first black president will show profound moral courage as he walks out the door. Maybe, just maybe, they say, President Obama will show us — in a big way that will inspire and capture the imagination of millions — change we can truly believe in. I say, let’s do more than hope. Let’s have the audacity to demand freedom for those who have already waited much too long for justice.

Time is running out for thousands of people who have been holding out hope that they or their loved ones might be granted clemency before President Obama leaves office. Obama has freed more than 1000 people in recent years, granting clemency to more people than the past 11 presidents combined. But now is the time for even bolder and more courageous action. Trump has vowed to be a “law and order” president and has praised the horrific, murderous drug war in the Philippines. He has nominated as his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, a man who not only has a history of overt bigotry, but who has been a primary opponent of criminal justice reform in Congress. For those who believed America’s drug war was winding down, I fear I hear the engine of mass incarceration revving up again. The stock market hears it too — private prison stocks have soared since Trump was declared president. One can only wonder if Trump — a man obsessed with proving his “toughness” — will ever find anyone worthy of clemency.

The word clemency means mercy, lenience. It is granted in a spirit of generosity and compassion, an implicit acknowledgement of the universality of human suffering and failing. Obama has granted a record number of clemency petitions because he is well aware that the drug war has been a spectacular failure, needlessly destroying countless families and lives. Obama has acknowledged his own frequent, illegal drug use in his youth, not just marijuana but cocaine as well. Surely he knows that if he had not been raised by white grandparents in Hawaii — if he had been raised instead in the ‘hood — he, too, would most likely be cycling in and out of prison today rather than serving as president of the United States. Clemency reflects an impulse to extend compassion rather than resort to unrelenting punitiveness.

Trump, by contrast, is the embodiment of our worst human impulses. If that sentence is not self-evident to you, we need to have a conversation much longer than what can transpire in a Facebook post. What I simply want to say here is that there would be no better demonstration of what it means to embrace an alternative vision of America than to set free all those who have been unfairly shamed, demonized, condemned and treated as disposable in the recent domestic wars we’ve waged on poor people and people of color. These wars (supposedly on drugs and immigration, but really on people) are directly traceable to the very same racially divisive politics and fear mongering that swept Trump into the presidency last month. By granting mass clemency to those who have suffered the most for the least crimes, Obama would demonstrate through deeds — not just words — what it means to be a nation that treats every human being as though their life matters.

PICO has launched a petition urging President Obama to grant mass clemency to non-violent, federal drug offenders convicted of low-level drug offenses and to pardon all those who fear mass deportation and the destruction of their families as a result of civil immigration infractions, such as overstaying a visa or unlawful employment. I have signed this petition, and I hope you will as well.

Color of Change is also urging mass clemency, focusing more narrowly on the clemency process itself. This petition urges Obama to rapidly accelerate the clemency process for low-risk categories of non-violent offenders and to expand who’s eligible for relief by considering people who did not get retroactive consideration under the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 or who failed to file for clemency or filed their clemency petition late. I have signed this petition too.
See https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/obama-clemency-before-jan20/?t=3&akid=6599.1469225.PjrZBF

Right now, thousands of people are holding on to the audacity of hope — the hope that the first black president will show profound moral courage as he walks out the door. Maybe, just maybe, they say, President Obama will show us — in a big way that will inspire and capture the imagination of millions — change we can truly believe in. I say, let’s do more than hope. Let’s have the audacity to demand freedom for those who have already waited much too long for justice.

PICO National Network

PRESIDENTIAL PARDON AND CLEMENCY LETTER
Stand with us today in asking President Obama to use his constitutional power to grant clemency to all people convicted of federal non-violent, low-level drug offenses and civil immigration infractions.

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Time is running out for thousands of people who have been holding out hope that they or their loved ones might be granted clemency before President Obama leaves office. Obama has freed more than 1000 people in recent years, granting clemency to more people than the past 11 presidents combined. But now is the time for even bolder and more courageous action. Trump has vowed to be a “law and order” president and has praised the horrific, murderous drug war in the Philippines. He has nominated as his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, a man who not only has a history of overt bigotry, but who has been a primary opponent of criminal justice reform in Congress. For those who believed America’s drug war was winding down, I fear I hear the engine of mass incarceration revving up again. The stock market hears it too — private prison stocks have soared since Trump was declared president. One can only wonder if Trump — a man obsessed with proving his “toughness” — will ever find anyone worthy of clemency. The word clemency means mercy, lenience. It is granted in a spirit of generosity and compassion, an implicit acknowledgement of the universality of human suffering and failing. Obama has granted a record number of clemency petitions because he is well aware that the drug war has been a spectacular failure, needlessly destroying countless families and lives. Obama has acknowledged his own frequent, illegal drug use in his youth, not just marijuana but cocaine as well. Surely he knows that if he had not been raised by white grandparents in Hawaii — if he had been raised instead in the ‘hood — he, too, would most likely be cycling in and out of prison today rather than serving as president of the United States. Clemency reflects an impulse to extend compassion rather than resort to unrelenting punitiveness. Trump, by contrast, is the embodiment of our worst human impulses. If that sentence is not self-evident to you, we need to have a conversation much longer than what can transpire in a Facebook post. What I simply want to say here is that there would be no better demonstration of what it means to embrace an alternative vision of America than to set free all those who have been unfairly shamed, demonized, condemned and treated as disposable in the recent domestic wars we’ve waged on poor people and people of color. These wars (supposedly on drugs and immigration, but really on people) are directly traceable to the very same racially divisive politics and fear mongering that swept Trump into the presidency last month. By granting mass clemency to those who have suffered the most for the least crimes, Obama would demonstrate through deeds — not just words — what it means to be a nation that treats every human being as though their life matters. PICO has launched a petition urging President Obama to grant mass clemency to non-violent, federal drug offenders convicted of low-level drug offenses and to pardon all those who fear mass deportation and the destruction of their families as a result of civil immigration infractions, such as overstaying a visa or unlawful employment. I have signed this petition, and I hope you will as well. Color of Change is also urging mass clemency, focusing more narrowly on the clemency process itself. This petition urges Obama to rapidly accelerate the clemency process for low-risk categories of non-violent offenders and to expand who’s eligible for relief by considering people who did not get retroactive consideration under the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 or who failed to file for clemency or filed their clemency petition late. I have signed this petition too. See https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/obama-clemency-before-jan20/?t=3&akid=6599.1469225.PjrZBF Right now, thousands of people are holding on to the audacity of hope — the hope that the first black president will show profound moral courage as he walks out the door. Maybe, just maybe, they say, President Obama will show us — in a big way that will inspire and capture the imagination of millions — change we can truly believe in. I say, let’s do more than hope. Let’s have the audacity to demand freedom for those who have already waited much too long for justice.

Time is running out for thousands of people who have been holding out hope that they or their loved ones might be granted clemency before President Obama leaves office. Obama has freed more than 1000 people in recent years, granting clemency to more people than the past 11 presidents combined. But now is the time for even bolder and more courageous action. Trump has vowed to be a “law and order” president and has praised the horrific, murderous drug war in the Philippines. He has nominated as his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, a man who not only has a history of overt bigotry, but who has been a primary opponent of criminal justice reform in Congress. For those who believed America’s drug war was winding down, I fear I hear the engine of mass incarceration revving up again. The stock market hears it too — private prison stocks have soared since Trump was declared president. One can only wonder if Trump — a man obsessed with proving his “toughness” — will ever find anyone worthy of clemency.

The word clemency means mercy, lenience. It is granted in a spirit of generosity and compassion, an implicit acknowledgement of the universality of human suffering and failing. Obama has granted a record number of clemency petitions because he is well aware that the drug war has been a spectacular failure, needlessly destroying countless families and lives. Obama has acknowledged his own frequent, illegal drug use in his youth, not just marijuana but cocaine as well. Surely he knows that if he had not been raised by white grandparents in Hawaii — if he had been raised instead in the ‘hood — he, too, would most likely be cycling in and out of prison today rather than serving as president of the United States. Clemency reflects an impulse to extend compassion rather than resort to unrelenting punitiveness.

Trump, by contrast, is the embodiment of our worst human impulses. If that sentence is not self-evident to you, we need to have a conversation much longer than what can transpire in a Facebook post. What I simply want to say here is that there would be no better demonstration of what it means to embrace an alternative vision of America than to set free all those who have been unfairly shamed, demonized, condemned and treated as disposable in the recent domestic wars we’ve waged on poor people and people of color. These wars (supposedly on drugs and immigration, but really on people) are directly traceable to the very same racially divisive politics and fear mongering that swept Trump into the presidency last month. By granting mass clemency to those who have suffered the most for the least crimes, Obama would demonstrate through deeds — not just words — what it means to be a nation that treats every human being as though their life matters.

PICO has launched a petition urging President Obama to grant mass clemency to non-violent, federal drug offenders convicted of low-level drug offenses and to pardon all those who fear mass deportation and the destruction of their families as a result of civil immigration infractions, such as overstaying a visa or unlawful employment. I have signed this petition, and I hope you will as well.

Color of Change is also urging mass clemency, focusing more narrowly on the clemency process itself. This petition urges Obama to rapidly accelerate the clemency process for low-risk categories of non-violent offenders and to expand who’s eligible for relief by considering people who did not get retroactive consideration under the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 or who failed to file for clemency or filed their clemency petition late. I have signed this petition too.
See https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/obama-clemency-before-jan20/?t=3&akid=6599.1469225.PjrZBF

Right now, thousands of people are holding on to the audacity of hope — the hope that the first black president will show profound moral courage as he walks out the door. Maybe, just maybe, they say, President Obama will show us — in a big way that will inspire and capture the imagination of millions — change we can truly believe in. I say, let’s do more than hope. Let’s have the audacity to demand freedom for those who have already waited much too long for justice.

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“Payne was the subject of a documentary, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, which detailed how she had stolen $2 million in jewelry across the globe.” I so want to see it. What I would give to have a one on one convo….

86-Year-Old International Jewelry Thief Doris Payne Arrested in Georgia

An 86-year-old international jewelry thief was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly shoplifting at a mall in Atlanta, Ga., WXIA-TV reports. The notorious Doris Payne, 86, has a criminal career that spans some 50 years in at least two continents. In this most recent incident, Payne was arrested by Dunwo… Source: [Source]

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