Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman wants to empty prisons


Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman who faces Republican Mehmet Oz has a history of using his office to recommend the governor pardon convicted murderers and has backed the idea of reducing the state’s prison population in mass. John Fetterman has been Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor since 2019. He has been characterized by Republicans as a “socialist” aligned with fringe left-wing members of Congress, like Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

John Fetterman during a virtual “Power of a Pardon” event in November 2021 said, “A record will quite literally follow you through the rest of your life costing you better job opportunities, better housing opportunities, better employment opportunities and all kinds of other things that really aren’t fair in my opinion quite frankly. So, I’m proud to say that through our leadership we’ve conferred more pardons in Pennsylvania than any administration in history”.

The state’s lieutenant governor is responsible for overseeing the board of pardons, a five-member body that recommends criminal pardons to the governor, according to Pennsylvania’s government website.

Fetterman, who notably pulled a shotgun on an unarmed black man in 2013 and defended it, The Daily Caller reported, appeared to endorse the idea of releasing one-third of the state’s prison population in 2020 twice.

While “criminal justice reform” is vital in terms of re-examining the cases of nonviolent offenders in the 1990s stemming from former Democratic Delaware Sen. Joe Biden’s “tough on crime law”, Fetterman takes it a bridge too far, said Nick Gerace, president of the Protect Our Police political action committee.

“He’s the guy who will be the first one screaming and hollering that something needs to be done”, Gerace, a former Philadelphia police officer, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “He’s a danger to Pennsylvania. We need to look at criminal justice change but you can’t let violent offenders back on the streets”.

Pennsylvania has seen a spike in pardons and commutations of life sentences under Fetterman’s tenure, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in May. The board of pardons has recommended 46 commutations in the four years he ran it, whereas there were six during Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s first term in office.

Fetterman and one other board member have voted for the most commutations in the past four years than any other board member, the Inquirer reported. Recommendations for pardons have surged 55 percent since Fetterman assumed his position, the outlet reported, and 155 percent since former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s term.

One person Fetterman motioned for a reconsideration of his pardon bid is Daniel Cummings, who was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, according to state records and a court filing. Cummings was granted a reconsideration bid in February 2020 and the governor pardoned him one year later.

In February 2021, the same month Fetterman launched his Senate bid, the governor commuted brothers Lee and Dennis Horton, who were serving life sentences in connection with a 1993 robbery and fatal shooting. Fetterman demanded clemency for the brothers eight months earlier and threatened state Attorney General Josh Shapiro that he would run against him in the 2022 gubernatorial race if there were not more commutation recommendations, sources familiar with the matter told the Inquirer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here