Maine Governor Releases People from Prison to Provide Labor to Tourist Industry
Date:  06-14-2017

Most view this form of clemency as a positive move
From The New York Times

Paul R. LePage, the brash and deeply conservative governor of Maine, has never been seen as an advocate of loosening punishments for criminals. He once joked that drug dealers should be publicly executed. He has seemed, at times, to support racial profiling in the pursuit of drug traffickers. And he has suggested that suspected domestic abusers wear ankle monitors, even if they have not been charged with crimes.

But last week, Mr. LePage conditionally commuted the state prison sentences of 17 male inmates, and is soon expected to commute the sentences of some female inmates as well. At the same time, his administration is reviewing whether he is legally allowed to commute the sentences of county inmates.

During radio interviews this week, Mr. LePage suggested his push for commutations was not a sudden shift in his views on the criminal justice system. Instead, he said, he is trying to solve the aging state’s mounting labor problem. The released offenders will be required to find jobs or job training. Continue reading