Advocacy Organization Praises Trump's Independent Clemency Evaluation Process

Obama Says DOJ Conflicted About Pardons & Former Federal Judge Says Institutional Deceit in DOJ Clemency Process


Denver, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/12/2018 --Advocacy organization A Just Cause praises President Trump for strictly following the Constitution by independently granting clemency without DOJ intervention. When the Constitution was created and gave the President sole pardoning power there was no DOJ and President Trump should not be criticized for granting clemency without DOJ input.

The federal courts confirm this:

"The President has the exclusive authority to make final decisions in clemency cases" and "is free to disregard the [DOJ] to act without any involvement from the [pardon attorney] whatsoever," said the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (Case no. 08-1398-CKK).

Although President Obama publicly stated the DOJ was conflicted about the clemency process, he delegated his power and authority to the DOJ and allowed them to hand-pick the applicants they felt were most-deserving under his criteria. This explains how Alice Johnson, a first-time 18-year-old non-violent drug offender whose life sentence was recently commuted by President Trump got passed over by the DOJ.

"It's no secret DOJ prosecutors routinely oppose and are conflicted about presidential pardons because they feel it cast aspersions on the legitimacy of them and their prosecutions," says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "The DOJ wants to control the clemency process to protect the finality of their convictions even if there's credible evidence of innocence or prosecutorial misconduct to obtain the conviction. Furthermore, those who are innocent or wrongly-convicted as result of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct have no chance to receive a pardon or commutation under a DOJ-driven clemency process," says Banks.

In his article titled "The Guilty Have a Better Chance for Parole or Pardon Than the Innocent", former federal appeals Judge H. Lee Sarokin (3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) says "institutionalized deceit" is a driving force behind the DOJ's clemency process because it requires the innocent to lie about their guilt to be considered or recommended for a pardon. "Stories abound of those wrongly convicted being denied release because of their insistence on their innocence," said Sarokin. (See Sarokin's full article at

Sarokin says he became aware of the institutional deceit in the DOJ pardon process after realizing that a group of innocent Colorado defendants he was supporting for clemency would be forced to lie and admit guilt to receive a pardon. Sarokin told the Washington Post that these men were "indicted and imprisoned for failing to pay corporate bills" and had their constitutional rights violated by the Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office and the federal trial judge (See Washington Post article at

"Not only are the five men (the "IRP5") innocent but the amount of misconduct by the Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office and federal Judge Christine Arguello to obtain the unconstitutional conviction is staggering," says Banks. "For the IRP5 to receive a pardon through the DOJ pardon attorney, they would have to lie and admit guilt and express remorse about a crime they never committed, and in doing so they would absolve the U.S. Attorney and Judge Arguello of their wrongdoing," adds Banks. "The IRP5 can't possibly receive fair consideration of their pardon application from a DOJ clemency process that has built-in institutionalized deceit and absolution for government misconduct. If the DOJ refuses to answer a letter from members of Congress concerning a dossier showing innocence and irrefutable misconduct in the IRP5 case they certainly won't take responsibility for their malfeasance and recommend a pardon," says Banks. (See congressional letter at and dossier at"

Because of the DOJ's conflict of interest regarding a pardon for the IRP5 (David A. Banks, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, David A. Zirpolo and Kendrick Barnes) A Just Cause is appealing directly to President Trump who has absolute pardoning power granted to him by the Constitution. Details of IRP5 pardon information sent to Trump can be viewed online ( David Banks also sent a personal letter to President Trump which also can be viewed online (

For more information about the IRP5 contact A Just Cause.

Media Relations Contact

Lamont Banks
Executive Director
A Just Cause

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