Washington Examiner

Georgia’s pardon law under scrutiny as Donald Trump faces indictment.

Georgia’s Pardon System Under Scrutiny Following Trump’s Indictment

Georgia’s pardon system is making headlines after former President Donald ‍Trump was indicted‌ on racketeering charges by Fulton⁤ County⁤ District Attorney Fani Willis. As the 2024 GOP ⁤front-runner, Trump would not be able to pardon himself of state charges, but‍ Georgia’s process has conditions‍ that make a pre-prison pardon even more difficult to obtain.

The Unique Structure of Georgia’s Pardon System

In Georgia, ​the governor appoints five individuals to the State⁢ Board of Pardons and Paroles, who serve seven-year terms. Compared to other states, Georgia’s board grants a relatively high frequency ⁣of pardons, according to⁢ a Restoration of Rights analysis. However, Georgia is one of the few states where the governor does‌ not have broad pardon powers.

Applicants for pardons in Georgia must wait five years after completing their sentence and must have lived a law-abiding life during⁢ that time, as stated ‌by the board.

A Contrast with New York’s Pardon System

In New York, where ​Trump faces other local charges, Governor Kathy Hochul has the ⁣sole authority to ‍issue pardons at her discretion. This highlights the differences between Georgia’s system‌ and that ‍of other states.

Criticism and Concerns Surrounding Georgia’s Pardon System

Following Trump’s indictment in⁣ Georgia, critics have voiced concerns about the state’s pardon system, suggesting that ‌it may need modification. Mike Davis, president of‌ the legal ⁢nonprofit Article III Project and a staunch Trump supporter, argues that the‍ current setup is a grave⁢ injustice. He questions why individuals must ⁤wait five years in jail before they⁢ can correct‍ any potential injustice.

Legal experts, ‍such as defense attorney Andrew ‍Fleischman, have also raised concerns about the constitutionality ‌of Georgia’s‍ pardon system.⁣ Fleischman suggests that there may be a separation of powers issue that has yet to be⁢ explored, particularly if Trump were to challenge the process as unconstitutional.

Potential Changes and Political Landscape

To amend Georgia’s pardon provisions, a two-thirds ​vote in both the House and Senate would ⁢be required. However, given the split compositions of each chamber, it is unlikely that the GOP-controlled legislature ‍would⁢ approve⁢ such changes. Governor Brian Kemp, who has clashed with Trump since the 2020 election, ‌has​ shown no indication of pushing for modifications to the system.

While some state senators have ⁤called for a special legislative session to investigate Willis, it remains uncertain if any significant changes will occur.⁤ The board, established in 1943 to combat corrupt selling of pardons by governors, would require a constitutional change to be undone.

As Georgia’s⁢ next gubernatorial race approaches, the issue of the pardon system may resurface, especially if⁢ any of the 19 individuals facing charges are convicted.

Read More From Original Article Here: Donald Trump indicted: Georgia pardon law under scrutiny

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