Joe Biden kept the absurd tradition of pardoning turkeys before Thanksgiving by continuing it on Friday. Biden presented the two bird, Peanut Butter and Jelly to Biden. He said that instead of having them basted, they were getting boosted.
To The New York TimesKatie Rogers points out that Biden was not mentioned at the event. However, reporters did try. Steven Nelson, of New York PostBiden asked President Obama if he would pardon any real people. Biden made it a joke by asking Nelson whether he would like one. Nelson asked Jen Psaki the question again. She essentially laughed it off, saying that she didn’t have any updates on mercy or possible human kindness.
The absurd gap between presidents’ performance and policy is highlighted every year by the turkey pardon. Biden’s campaign promises to roll back harsh laws that he helped pass on the campaign trail have not been fulfilled. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), Ed Markey (D–Mass.), and Jeff Merkley (D–Ore.) I wrote to Biden in November, asking for his executive power to pardon all federal prisoner with nonviolent marijuana convictions. But so far it has not been answered.
This is not the only problem Biden must address. As a means of slowing the spread of pandemics in prisons, President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act (COVID-19 economic stimul legislation) last year.
However, when federal pandemic response ends, it will be at an unspecified date. This means that the authorities can no longer keep them in prison, even though they have complied fully with their release terms. FAMM, a group that advocates for sentencing reform, has attempted to. put political pressureBiden will use his pardoning authority to stop some 4,000 inmates being returned to prison. FAMM and Color of Change, Dream Corps, Justice Action Network and many other organizations have encouraged people to go to D.C. rally this afternoonTell Biden “pardon people, not turkeys!”
Biden’s administration introduced a system in September to encourage prisoners under the CARES Act who have been released to file applications for commutation. Biden has deliberately limited his potential mercy, should it ever come. He is only willing to offer commutations to drug-related prisoners who are serving less than 4 years.
Because of the harsh federal penalties for drug offenses that are so extreme, many people cannot be helped because they don’t have enough money. You can read more about it here. MediumThis post is about frustration felt by federal prisoners and their families about performative turkey-pardoning. Ann Espuelas (FAMM director of family outreach, storytelling) details who this administration is leaving out.
The Biden administration has said that they are considering clemency for many of the people under the OLC memo cloud, but the criteria they have announced is quite narrow and will exclude many, including Antwan Jones. His job is excellent and he’s focused on reentry. Antwan is concerned about how being returned to prison could impact his delicate, but growing relationship with his children. When I got in, they were eight and two. I would lose them again if they were to have any hope of me becoming a father. “I must be there for them.”
Espuelas writes that the Biden administration’s proposals for who receives clemency and those who don’t, which are based upon arbitrary criteria, have nothing to do whatsoever with public safety. This group of prisoners was “previously carefully vetted and then considered the lowest risk by Attorney General.” [William] Barr.”
Espuelas closes her column with a plea to President Obama: “Please think more than two turkeys. Your actions will be appreciated by thousands of families and individuals who look up to you for your good deeds. Do the humane thing for humans—not just birds.”
Her presidential history shows that she will be disappointed.