There's a lot of follow-up media about the White House's new scrutiny of both Clarence Aaron's commutation effort and the failures of the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Here are a few we were happy to see and read.
- The Root focuses on the disturbing racial disparity among pardon recipients that "shocks the conscience."
- Melissa Harris-Perry's blog continues its close coverage of the story.
- Reason's blog covers the story, ending with this (perhaps cynical?) thought about whether President Obama will actually grant more commutations after the November election, as is being rumored:
Rather than implausibly hope that Obama the drug warrior will become Obama the reformer in a second term, perhaps those of us who are interested in ameliorating the injustice caused by the war on drugs should hope he loses the election, in which case he might use his last few months in office to accomplish some good.We simply refuse to believe that the only safe time for a president to grant commutations is as a lame duck on the way out of the White House. Accuse us of being hopeless idealists, but there's no good reason President Obama should only grant commutations if he loses the November election. If he grants commutations to deserving, reformed people serving unjust punishments, that is all the cover he should need -- regardless of the election outcome. There will always be some naysayers. Let them naysay. Most people can recognize a grave injustice when they see it -- and Clarence Aaron's life-without-parole sentence isn't the only grave injustice out there. Fixing some of those injustices shows that the system is responding -- and that we are still a country that cares about fairness.
And finally, San Francisco Chronicle columnist and Clarence Aaron supporter Debra Saunders has found a way to get people involved in supporting Clarence's commutation effort:
The iron is hot, folks. Tweet @BarackObama and tell him to #FreeClarenceAaron.You know you created that Twitter account for some reason, right?