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How to Start a Clemency Clinic (and other Blueprints for Compassion and Redemption)

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Clemency Clinics: A Blueprint for Justice,” by Ken Strutin, LLRX, June 17, 2012

Excerpt: “Clemency (mercy), pardon (absolution), commutation (substitution), amnesty (forgetting), and reprieve (suspension) are drawn from the language of compassion. And today, they operate in a scheme of constitutional rights that overarches and subsumes notions of mercy and leniency. Thus, it is the constitutional architecture of clemency that provides the basis of relief for the wrongly convicted as well as the rehabilitated.” And yet, there is no right to counsel or institutional representation for the convicted seeking pardons and commutations, generally speaking. Pro bono attorneys, independently run projects, and law school clinics have from time to time filed clemency petitions for those unable to afford counsel. But in the absence of a right to appointed counsel in all cases, clemency petitioners are left to their devices and can only hope for assistance from the outside world….” [Link to full LLRX article.]

(The section on STARTING A CLINIC starts about 1/3 down the page.)

Read more LLRX articles at their website.