Keeping Hope Alive: Applying for Pardons in Pennsylvania

Keep Hope Alive Sign

Today, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons has over 2,400 applications it is processing thanks to the efforts of the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity’s state-wide initiative, the “Pardon Project,” and others like it. Before these efforts were made, the board only handled around 400 +/- a year. Even with those lower numbers, the recent administration still had pardons sitting on…

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The Prohibition Act and Megan’s Law: Assessing Policy Failures

Milton Friedman’s insightful quote, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results,” provides a critical lens through which we can examine the failures of policies such as the Prohibition Act of 1920 and Megan’s Law. To remedy the mistake of evaluating policies solely based on intentions, a shift in focus…

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PARSOL’s Public Comment to the United States Sentencing Commission

During her confirmation hearings, now Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and former vice-chair of the USSC commission said, reflecting the Commission’s stance on sexual offenses and sentencing: The statute doesn’t say, “Look only at the guidelines and stop.”The statute doesn’t say, “Impose the highest possible penalty for this sickening and egregious crime.”The statute says, “Calculate the guidelines, but also…

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PA’s Task Force on Child Pornography Report Confirms our Beliefs

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 53 of 2021 on June 30, 2021. Act 53 did two things: It enhanced the sentencing penalty on child pornography; and It established the Task Force on Child Pornography (TFCP).  The Task Force’s Recommendations The TFCP was comprised of legislators, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim advocates, and psychologists. Together, they examined the sentencing of…

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Collateral Consequences: An Exercise in PFR Disenfranchisement

I recently penned an essay on felony voting disenfranchisement at the request of an incarcerated friend who needed assistance with a Villanova University application question.  As I concluded my composition, I could not help but ponder the countless instances in which PFRs are disenfranchised absent any legitimate government interest or reasonable general risk.  As such, the promise of equal protection…

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PARSOL’s Response to Hampton Township Petition; SVP Concerns

[Harrisburg, PA] The Pennsylvania Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (PARSOL) believes all sexual abuse is unacceptable and that prevention, treatment, and healing are possible. We take a person-first approach to criminal justice reform that cultivates a fair and just society, honors an individual’s inherent dignity, and promotes respect and fairness. As such, we are compelled to weigh in on…

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