“When we worked on clemency during the Obama administration, it was based on objective criteria, not recommendations of some political ally or some celebrity,” mentioned Kevin Ring, who served time in federal jail for his function within the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and is president of the felony justice reform group FAMM, previously referred to as Families Against Mandatory Minimums.
The group runs a closed Facebook discussion board for 7,000 members of the family of inmates, which full of anxious however excited messages of prayer and hope for the discharge of family members within the run-up to Mr. Trump’s ultimate spherical of clemency grants, issued 12 hours earlier than he left workplace.
“And I was incredibly sad, because I thought you really have next to no chance, because he is not using the process that your loved one would even be in the mix for,” Mr. Ring mentioned.
Even some beneficiaries of clemency grants by Mr. Trump concede that the method will not be equitable.
There are “so many thousands of inmates that never get a chance to even have their names put in there, so that’s just so unfair,” mentioned Barry Wachsler, who paid authorized charges related to Mr. Weinstein’s courtroom appeals and clemency push. “Does it help if you have money and the right connections? You know, I guess it does. It definitely does.”
A Long Island businessman, Mr. Wachsler mentioned he met Mr. Weinstein by likelihood 5 years in the past when he went to go to a buddy in federal jail who launched the 2 males.
Mr. Weinstein, 45, had pleaded guilty in 2013 to expenses associated to a Ponzi-style real estate scheme that brought on $200 million in losses, a lot of which got here from buyers from an Orthodox Jewish group in New Jersey with which he was related. Prosecutors mentioned he gained belief from potential victims by enlisting rabbis to vouch for him and making donations to Jewish organizations along with his ill-gotten features.
In 2014, he pleaded guilty to expenses associated to defrauding additional investors, together with by falsely claiming to have entry to coveted Facebook shares within the firm’s forthcoming preliminary public providing, utilizing the funds to pay authorized charges associated to his earlier indictment.