Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Clemency Delayed is not Justice denied

Late Clemency?

While I am no P-Noy apologist, I do not like the way some people are lambasting the president for granting executive clemency to a prisoner who unfortunately died a few days before he was pardoned. They say that the recommendation was forwarded to him a long time ago. Does that mean that there should be haste in approving recommendations?

When a prisoner’s sentence is promulgated, does it come with a clause that requires executive clemency for good behavior and/or failing health? When a criminal commits a crime, does he do it because there is a surefire recipe for pardon?

Crimes are not lightly committed and sentences are likewise not dispensed like a comedy show. An executive clemency therefore, should be well contemplated before being dispensed. Prisoners dying prior to clemency is indeed a regrettable event but it is not at all the fault of the president. The crime committed remains to be the sole fault of the criminal and never is it transferred to the pardoner at any time. 

Let us not forget the original victims of the crime. Is justice served when the clemency is given? Did it send the right message to criminals? Or did it render the penal system ineffective?

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