Freedom and Forgiveness: The Future of Federal Clemency Reform

More than 11,430 federal prisoners–many of them nonviolent offenders serving life sentences–have commutation petitions pending at the U.S. Department of Justice.  Another 2,393 applications are pending presidential pardons. What caused this backlog? Can reforms provide greater relief? 

The Journal of Legislation & Public Policy devoted our Fall 2019 Symposium to taking stock of the current state of federal clemency and considering the future of federal clemency reform. In a panel moderated by Professor Rachel Barkow, practitioners, advocates and academics discussed current reform proposals, the First Step Act’s relaxed compassionate release requirements, initiatives by prior administrations, and proposals by the 2020 presidential candidates.


Rachel Barkow, Moderator, Vice Dean and Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy and Faculty Director, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law 

Michael Bosworth, Senior Fellow, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law

Caitlin Glass, Staff Attorney, Office of the Appellate Defender

Ames Grawert, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice

David Patton, Executive Director & Attorney-in-Chief, Federal Defenders of New York

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22 from 4-5:30pm
LIPTON HALL, 108 W. Third Street