Mark Osler debates federal narcotic sentencing at the Hot Topics: Federal Sentencing event held at the School of Law on Thursday, September 25, 2015.

In the News: Mark Osler on Clemency Within the Criminal Justice System

Law professor Mark Osler commented for CBS News on the importance of pardons and compassionate release within the criminal justice system.

From the article: "Compassionate release is great if you're in front of a good judge, but many aren't," said Mark Osler, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. "We don't need one solution at the exception of others. I think compassionate release is good, but it doesn't displace the importance of clemency and commutations. You need both because if you're in the Western District of North Carolina, compassionate release doesn't really exist."

Others have recommended the creation of a bipartisan advisory board that would take the clemency advisory process out of the Justice Department. Any changes, however, would require legislative action by Congress, or executive order by the president, since the Constitution gives him the sole authority to grant pardons on the federal level.