SOURCE: A Just Cause

A Just Cause

September 15, 2015 06:22 ET

Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik Should Be Given Second Chance at Public Service, Says Advocacy Group, A Just Cause

A Just Cause Asks President Obama to Pardon Bernard Kerik and Consider Appointment as Next BOP Director

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - September 15, 2015) - In a September 2015 letter to President Obama, Advocacy Organization, A Just Cause, makes their case as to why they believe Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard (Bernie) Kerik, who received a felony conviction, should be the next Director of the Bureau of Prisons. In 2010, Mr. Kerik was convicted and sentenced to 4 years in prison primarily related to false statements and tax charges surrounding payments to his children's nanny. Federal law currently prohibits convicted felons from ever voting or holding public office. Kerik was recently interviewed on A Just Cause's radio program.

Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause in the letter to Obama, writes: "It is an immutable fact, that men since the beginning of time, have made poor choices and exercised poor judgment in their decision-making, whether from a lack of experience or struggles with a particular vice. Because these experiences are common to all men, we as a society have generally embraced forgiveness, second chances and the opportunity for redemption. However, in America, when men make choices that result in them being found guilty of a felony or suffer a wrongful conviction, our society as a whole is unforgiving and unwilling to give a second chance."

In the letter Banks also references an August 28, 2015 New York Times article, "U.S. Judges Questioning Harsh Justice in A New Era", where federal judges are now taking a fresh look at convictions that may be holding reformed people back. The Times reports that federal Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn said: "As a society we really need to have a serious discussion on this subject of people with convictions never being able to work again...The public safety is better served when people are able to participate as productive members of society by working and paying taxes."

"I explained to President Obama that Bernard Kerik has over 30 years of stellar public service in national security, law enforcement and corrections, including the U.S. Army, NYPD Police Commissioner and the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections where he oversaw the entire New York City jail system, including Rikers Island," says Banks. "It is well-documented that under Kerik's watch, the jail system achieved historic reductions in inmate-on-inmate violence, and earned international recognition from violence reduction, efficiency, accountability and correctional excellence," adds Banks. "Combine Kerik's unparalleled law enforcement record with his experience as an inmate, and you have someone who has a 360 degree view of America's prison system, both as a correction's chief and an inmate," says Banks. "You couldn't find a more uniquely qualified candidate for that role, especially since he is a staunch advocate for criminal justice and prison reform, both of which are key goals for President Obama and Congress," exclaims Banks.

In an article written by Kerik, titled: "Prison Is Like Dying With Your Eyes Open", he says, "I believe in law and order and I believe in the need to keep society safe from predators, murderers, rapists, child molesters, and those involved and engaged in violent crime. But, when American jails and prisons around the country are primarily filled with non-violent and many first-time offenders, it's time for change."

"Bernie Kerik has a lot to offer this country and his felony conviction shouldn't deny him an opportunity to contribute to the safety of this nation," says Banks. "President Obama said in his speech to the NAACP this year that justice and redemption go hand in hand and I hope that he will give Bernie a second chance," adds Banks.

"A Just Cause will continue to fight for changes to laws in this country that perpetually punish our citizens who made poor choices or mistakes by imposing life-time bans on their constitutional rights and limit their opportunities to become productive members of society," concludes Banks.

Contact Information

    A Just Cause
    (855) 529-4252, extension 710