Ratify the Pardons Amendment

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December 18, 2013, 12:21 AM

Congress And States: Ratify the Pardons Amendment!

The following is the text of the proposed 
Pardons Amendment:

"Congress shall have power to make certain legislation which mandates reforms of the power of the President to grant Reprieves and Pardons; and such reforms may also take effect as initiated by the President prior to ratification of this Amendment.  Furthermore, Congress shall have power to make legislation to prevent and forbid any obstruction of the pardoning process whenever any such obstruction shall have challenged or called into question the supremacy of this Constitution."

Notes:

A) The intent behind this Amendment - and the meaning of the word "certain" in that Amendment - is to make this following set of reforms, literally from A to Z, the proposed legislative guideline for the President's use of the power to grant Reprieves and Pardons.   In fact, the use of the word "certain", which is the seventh word in this Amendment, refers to the original intent of this Amendment as described in the entirety of this petition.  These Notes, from A to Z, may be legislated by Congress as the Means and Standards by which the foregoing Pardons Amendment shall take effect; and it is a fair representation of the Pardons Amendment to state that the full meaning of it is to be found in this section of appurtenant Notes from A to Z as described here.

B ) When a pardon is granted, conditions and penalties which have been imposed on the pardonee as a result of the voided conviction(s), or which arose as a result therefrom, are also to be voided to the fullest extent possible.  These conditions and penalties shall include but not be limited to any and all ancillary offenses and penalties therefor which have or shall have arisen as a result of the conviction(s) to be voided by the pardon, and conditions of probation appurtenant to the conviction to be voided by the pardon; as well as post-conviction mortgage and foreclosure issues and Sheriff's sales of properties; post-conviction confiscations of motor vehicles by or at the behest of Government agencies; post-conviction fines and assessment increases;  post-arrest loss of income and work opportunity; post-conviction judgments and liens; post-conviction loss of personal effects and work-related equipment; post-conviction damage to intellectual property; post-conviction harmful losses of telephone numbers, storage capacity and mailing services;  post-arrest travel and communication restrictions; post-conviction loss of credit and damages to personal and business credit ratings; post-conviction insurance adjustments or changes which are adverse and attributable to having arisen due at least in part to the conviction; and the cost of any and all other damages which may be reasonably attributed to the conviction which has been pardoned, including damages from enforced idleness. Credit rating agencies may be required by law as part of the pardoning process to give pardonees a clean slate and perfect rating; insurance companies may be required to reinstate pardonees as policyholders at former and lesser rates, and telephone companies may be required or asked to provide pardonees with the option of reclaiming their former telephone numbers.  Moreover, banks, Sheriff's offices, courthouses, repositories of official records, municipal authorities and other agencies and corporations involved in any loss or taking of property of the pardonee may be required, as part of the pardoning process, to reinstate the former ownership of the pardonee to the fullest extent possible, and to compensate for damages whenever any such former ownership has been terminated recklessly or in violation of law and fairness. Moreover, child custody may be returned to parents or grandparents who have been cheated out of custody as a result of false accusations which have been expunged and voided by the pardoning process, to the extent that these false accusations have cheated parents and grandparents out of child custody.

C) The fact that there have never been any sufficient guidelines until such time as this Amendment shall be put into force, has forced the issue of definition of the President's powers to grant Reprieves and Pardons into the domain of the judiciary; which is a default violation of Article One, Section One of the Constitution which grants all legislative powers to Congress.   The fact that the Constitution gives the President the power to grant Reprieves and Pardons does not entail legislative default by Congress; and indeed there is precedent for Congressional legislation affecting this Presidential power in the creation of the Office of Pardons.   The Pardons Amendment is not designed so much to broaden the powers of any branch of Government, nor to superimpose one branch over another, but rather to clarify and re-activate a lapsed power which the Framers of the original Constitution intended to give to the President to be actively and creatively used in a way which is beneficial and Constitutionally supportive.  In that the number of people in the United States who might reasonably and lawfully benefit from a grant of reprieve and pardon as described here, is at least 9,500 times the number of people in the United States who might have similarly benefitted from contemporary standards of pardoning redress in 1787 when the clause was written, it is reasonable that the President - who is only one person - cannot today be expected to do 9,500 times the work of George Washington in this or any other responsibility of the office.  Neither is it reasonable to suppose that the Office of the US Pardon Attorney, which employs 25 people, is sufficient to monopolize the task entrusted to it.  The only logical recourse is to allow applicants for Reprieves and pardons to petition Members of Congress, State legislators, Governors and judges, as well as the President and the Office of the US Pardon Attorney, and to allow all these to work together, rather than to not work at all, to solve the problem of the clemency deficit and the pardoning backlog; the aggregate impact of which now endangers the rights and happiness and prosperity of millions of Americans.

D) Additionally, many hardships and backlogs have arisen due to the failure to establish coherent and reasonable legislation to define the power of the President to grant pardons and reprieves.  The reputations, livelihoods, homes, friendships, business connections, family affections and lives of innocent or relatively innocent people and beloved bystanders have been needlessly sacrificed waiting for justice for too long, in too many cases, in the USA; in a way which goes far beyond any legitimate power of courts and prosecution to inflict, and at an accelerating rate which is far in excess of that which might reasonably be expected in the context of a fair, honest and impartial system of justice when its features of adverse influence are almost entirely confined to an irreducible minimum of unintentional random error.   The judicial and bureaucratic errors of Government agencies and courts in the United States have been recently ranging far beyond the scope of tolerable and normal patterns of typical human error, to include unmistakable patterns of maliciousness, unfairness, corruption, racketeering and police-state tactics which have no place among democratic institutions, and therefore the harm inflicted directly as well as the international embarrassment and the internal betrayal of America's proper role as a republic characterized by freedom, is a situation which cries out for relief, and demands the diligent attention of every official and judge who is dedicated and sworn to a Constitutional oath.

E) The process of granting Reprieves and Pardons has become more topheavy, more arbitrary and capricious, more obstructed and more favoritistic than ever; at both the Federal and State levels of government in the United States.   Until this situation is corrected, the American clemency deficit will by definition continue to contaminate the entire US system of justice with irresistible corruption.

F) The legislation which should be enacted by Congress pursuant to this Amendment, or as a sufficient substitute therefor, should be drafted in the  following form; or should in the alternative take into careful consideration all of the issues raised here and all of the proposed reforms brought to light, to wit:    

G) The President of the United States has the  responsibility to grant Reprieves and Pardons to maintain the integrity of the Oath of Office  and the Constitution of the United States, and to quash harmful acts which violate the U.S. Constitution within the context of State and lesser Governments, as well as to nullify anti-Constitutional and harmful actions (including the clear and present likelihood of obstruction of pardon) arising within a context of harmful conflicts of interest in State government;  just as Governors of the several States have the responsibility to grant Pardons and Reprieves to fulfill that Form of Government characteristic of a Republic, as required under this Constitution.

H) By reason of changes in transportation and communication since this Constitution was formed, and by dint of full Faith and Credit: for the purposes of Presidential reprieves and pardons exclusively, an  offense or offence against any one of the United States or any one Territory of the United States electing a Governor shall be considered an offense or offence against the  United States as an entirety.

I) The President shall have power and imperative responsibility to grant Reprieves and Pardons in the following seven cases enumerated within this section; because "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that" Reprieves and pardons not be granted for "light and transient causes", and only upon good and seasoned expert legal advice which is held to a high standard of responsibility and accountability, and that undue political pressure and special pleading by special interests refrain from the fray in any such context of justice - while on the other hand accessibility to Reprieves and pardons should be something that is actually available to both rich and poor alike without unreasonable delay:

1) At the request of any committee comprised of at least four members of the sworn judiciary in any place under the jurisdiction of the United States, in the form requested, within 15 days of such request being received by the Office of the President.

2) At the request of eight or more Members of the US Senate who may include the Vice President, in the form requested, within 30 days.

3) At the request of any committee of twelve or more voting or nonvoting Members of the House of Representatives, in the form requested, within 45 days.

4) At the request of a committee formed of any sixteen Members from both houses of Congress who represent any place under the jurisdiction of the United States, within 60 days.

5) At the request of any ten sworn State legislators in any State or any two sworn Governors, any of whom may be from any of the several States, within 75 days of such request being received by the Office of the President, or alternately by the Governor in the State or Territory in which the offense or offence shall have been alleged to have been committed, or by which the Constitutional rights of the pardonee shall have been or were harmfully violated.   Moreover Governments of States and US Territories may lawfully grant political asylum to US citizens who have been subjected to eminent domain abuse, bias intimidation, defamation under color of authority, oppression under color of authority, whistleblower retaliation, or any other action to punish any citizen for legitimately exercising a Constitutional right, in the State of residence of that citizen; and this type of grant of political asylum may include moving and relocation expenses and other forms of emergency disaster relief.   

6) At the request of Ambassadors or the Secretary of State in the context of the exchange of instruments of ratification of any Treaty, in the process of any international agreement, or as a quid pro quo or goodwill gesture, within 90 days of the ratification of any such treaty or finalization of any such diplomatic arrangement of subtreaty status.  No request for any Reprieve and Pardon properly and exclusively to be granted in the context of any international agreement or negotiation shall be arrived at by any of the other avenues of recourse described on this list of seven possible cases; but only through international agreements which shall have entered into force.  Moreover, the Government of the United States may not in any capacity or way interfere with or conduct surveillance or retaliation against any  innocent or relatively innocent, internally displaced US Citizen who: attempts to obtain safe passage, protective sanctuary, political asylum and the right of relocation by communicating with or traveling to any diplomatic mission located within the boundaries of the United States.

7) At the President's own behest, volition, discretion or Constitutional obligation to maintain the integrity of the Oath of Office, or in the context of the lawful exercies of the President's own duty of conscience; and in the President's capacity of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States.

J) By reason of the fact that the President's powers to grant Reprieves and pardons are to be imperatively exercised in these ways:  neither the President nor any Office subordinate to the President may refuse a pardon request formulated by any of the seven foregoing methods listed above,  on any grounds including rejection on the basis of improper form; however the President may unilaterally act to substitute a form of compensation for harmful violations of the Constitution which is of equivalent value to the original form of the request; or the President may unilaterally act to grant a form of clemency which is equally restorative of justice and rights of the pardonee, but in a different form than that originally petitioned for.  

K) Accordingly, the President may negotiate such a request with any of the committees formed as described above; but the President may at his own behest act unilaterally to craft any fitting substitution.  In this way, costs paid out of any Government treasury from funds provided by taxpayers may be minimized, so that any objections to fulfilling justice in a context of either criminal law or civil law or both, may also be minimized.

L) A substitution in terms granted by the President may be more merciful and more restorative of rights than the terms proposed to the President by the committee originally submitting the pardon request to the President or to his good offices; as determined by mutual agreement between the President and the pardonee; but in any case may not be less merciful or less restorative than the terms originally proposed in the pardon request by any committee, and submitted to the President; PROVIDED that if any property belonging to the United States is to be disposed of and granted to any pardonee as part of any pardon by the President, that the Congress shall have power to modify or entirely nullify any part of a pardon with respect to such issues as per Article Four, Section Three; but Congress shall not have power to modify any other portion of any pardon with respect to any other issue which relates to any power not accorded to Congress by the Constitution.

M) A pardon may be granted by the President or by any Governor of any State or Territory in a form or manner which is conditional, and which may annul all of or any part of a pardon granted in the event the pardonee subsequently is found by due process of law to have violated such conditions.

N) Innocent widowed spouses and heirs of victims of injustice shall be eligible for disaster-related and wrongful harm compensation, as well as eligible to be granted Letters of Declaration of Actual Innocence and Letters of Apology and actions of expungement, in association with harmful wrongs which have been inflicted on their spouses or parents or children now deceased; but no such associated compensation rights except for Letters of Declaration of Actual Innocence and Letters of Apology shall be financially binding or shall grant financial compensation from public monies any further than unto the first adjoining generation, elder or younger, of next of kin.

O) The President may grant reprieves and pardons for, or in the context of, offenses or offences at the State or Federal level of Government including violations of the Constitution, which have been committed against or inflicted harmfully upon the pardonee; and on behalf of individuals whose  rights under this Constitution have been violated by any act or agency of Government at any level under the jurisdiction of the United States, or any contractor authorized by selfsame Government; in order to defend the United States against State and municipal errors which encroach toward or within the scope of nullification, and to restore the supremacy of the Constitution in such instances, or the legal rights  and liberties of individuals harmed by Government violations of the Constitution, to wholeness.  Thus the Constitutional clause "Reprieves and pardons for offenses committed against the United States" may indicate not only that the pardonee may have committed the offense which is the occasion for the granting of a reprieve and pardon, but also, in the alternative, that the pardonee is being granted a pardon and reprieve either as an innocent who has never been convicted of any crime, or as the victim of a wrongful prosecution which proceeded substantially from harmful offenses committed against the Constitution by Government in any capacity or level under the jurisdiction of the United States.

P) The individuals on whose behalf the President has power to grant Reprieves and Pardons may have been convicted of offenses; or alternately being innocent individuals in the eyes of the law, the pardonee(s) may have been subjected to Constitutional violations harmfully inflicted by Government, in a way which shall have inflicted unjust harm on the person to whom a pardon will be granted or in a way which evinces a clear and present danger of impending harm which may be avoided by the reprieve and pardon process.

Q) The granting of any type of Reprieve and pardon by the President or any of the Governors of the several States and Territories does not imply guilt of the pardonee in any case; but rather ends all prior association of the pardonee to any and all prior guilt.  It shall be deemed an act of libel for anyone to publicly and declaratively hold against any pardonee any prior guilt, in any court action or action of any Government agency, at any time after a pardon is granted; and it shall be unlawful for any non-defense related agency of Government or any corporation doing business with the Federal Government or the government of any State or municipality to discriminate in hiring and promotion of any individual based on reference to an expunged or pardoned portion of an individual's past record.

R) Governors of Territories shall have the same power to grant Reprieves and pardons for offenses committed in the context of territorial law or ordinances, as do Governors of the several States with respect to the laws of States.  No Governor shall have authority to grant any pardon for any offense or offence which is strictly under the jurisdiction of Federal law. Moreover, no State or U.S. Territorial official or any other official at a level of government subordinate to any State or Territory shall be permitted to interfere with any Federal investigation or the enforcement of any Federal law on any basis other than a Constitutionally supportive basis; and in any such event the Constitution must be invoked in a way which is not haphazard, but through due process and good order and clarity of communication to the Federal Government.

S) Because it is contradictory for the Federal Government to grant emergency disaster assistance to victims of disasters when those disasters were not inflicted in the first instance by Government, and to simultaneously refuse to grant emergency disaster assistance to victims of disasters which have been or shall have been inflicted by Government itself through its own actions or negligence: Section T shall apply as follows.

T) Reprieves granted by the President may include a writ of emergency disaster assistance to be granted to victims of Constitutional violations inflicted on individuals by Government under the jurisdiction of the civilian laws of the United States, and to be taken out of discretionary funds or from funds  allocated for foreign aid grants to other countries; or other funds at the command of the President.   Additionally, Congress may also pass legislation which supplements such emergency disaster assistance, or which grants such assistance in the complete absence of any Presidential action, without prejudice to any cases pending in any courts of law.

U) No pardon or reprieve shall be granted to a corporation or to a class of people, as neither corporations nor groups have any  rights described in the Constitution; and corporations and groups are not properly described as citizens of the United States. Reprieves and pardons may, nonetheless, be granted in clusters to individuals who apply as a group, or whose cases are handled in unison.

V) No pardon granted by the President shall be checked or questioned or challenged by any legal process or court thereafter, except when any pardon pre-empts, interferes with or annulls impeachment processes.   The President may grant Reprieves and Pardons either directly, or indirectly through the Office charged by Congress and the President or otherwise Constitutionally with the responsibility and domain of oversight of pardons and reprieves on behalf of the President; such a pardon granted indirectly under the indirect authorization of the President shall have the same legal force, weight and effect as if the President had granted such reprieve and pardon directly.

W) The Office authorized by law to act on questions and matters of Reprieves and Pardons may not lawfully obstruct any pardon presented for its inspection; but may edit any pardon to render the pardon in proper legal form or to change the pardon to a form more acceptable to the President; as long as the original request is not substantially altered.

X) All individuals who have applied for pardons prior to the enactment of this legislation shall be immediately eligible to apply for pardons, de novo, under these new procedures, without delay. 

Y) The Office authorized by law to assist the President and act on his behalf on matters of Reprieves and Pardons  may not, in any instance, employ any petty legal device or minor legal issue to overturn a greater principle of justice.  The Supreme Court of the United States may overturn a legal or Constitutional principle invoked by the President or by the good offices of the President in the process of granting any particular Reprieve and pardon; but neither the Supreme Court of the United States nor any inferior court may overturn the pardon itself.  A pardon, once granted by the President, is as it were set in stone, unless the President constructs or grants the reprieve and pardon in a way and form which makes any particular Reprieve and pardon subject to future modification by its own terms and conditions.

Z) This proposed Constitutional Amendment may be alternately passed by Congress as a resolution or law mandating these reforms of the power of the President to grant Reprieves and Pardons; or it may take effect as an Executive Order which is signed by the President.   This may be used by the President or the good offices of the President at the President's authorization, as a guideline to enable the President to pro-actively reform the Presidential power to grant Reprieves and Pardons prior to the enactment of any or all of these provisions into Federal law by Congress, and prior to ratification of the above proposed Amendment in the Constitution.

Scott Davis

Chairman

Committee of 37 Peace Initiative 

PO Box 877 Edgmont,  PA   19028-0877

USA    



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