N.J. launches mass clemency iniciative on Juneteenth

Survivors of domestic violence incarcerated because they attacked their abusers and people serving lengthy jail sentences because they exercised their right to trial, are among the categories of people who may be offered clemency under an executive order signed by Gov. Phil Murphy this wednesday.

Murphy, a democrat, signed the order creating an advisory board to provide an objective review of pardons and commutations in front of a full house at Saint James AME Church during the celebration of Juneteenth – the end of slavery.

“There are generations of families that have been torn apart by a broken criminal justice system that for too long has prioritized excessive punishment over healing and rehabilitation”, said Murphy, adding that, at this moment, in New Jersey “there are thousands of our neighbors living in incarceration, many of whom have been denied the justice they deserve”.

The Governor told reporters he anticipates the first batch of pardons will occur in about six mouths. While categories of people will be eligible for clemency, he said, cases will still be reviewed individually.