The Justice Department is urging lawyers for federal prisoners to move quickly to file clemency petitions for their clients, lest the clock run out before the end of the President’s term. U.S. Pardon Attorney Deborah Leff told volunteer lawyers in a video seminar last week that petitions not submitted until Obama’s final year may not be considered, at least by him. As reported by Greg Korte of USA Today, Leff suggested that lawyers might be spending too much time briefing cases, and she encouraged them to file even if they have not been able to obtain all documents.
“While I greatly admire your legal skills, this is not the time to prepare a treatise of hundreds of pages,” she told the lawyers.
Should a compilation of collateral consequences mandated by federal law and prepared with federal funds be freely available to states and members of the public? The Uniform Law Commission says yes, the American Bar Association says no.
In an article posted on May 18, the Wall Street Journal pulled back the curtain on an on-going dispute between the ULC and the ABA over copyright restrictions the ABA has imposed on data in the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences (NICCC). The ULC is concerned that restrictions on access and use of the NICCC data are likely to stymie adoption of the Uniform Collateral Consequences of Conviction Act (UCCCA), which requires that states create their own inventories. The ABA contends that the existence of other potentially conflicting databases would create undesirable confusion about the meaning of the law. An excerpt from the WSJ piece (a companion to another article on collateral consequences published the same day), follows: Read more