Margaret Love, a former U.S. pardon attorney in the Department of Justice between 1990 and 1997 who now directs the American Bar Association Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions, tells a National Law Journal interviewer that the presidential pardoning process needs to be better monitored.
In order to hold the pardon process more accountable, I would make the process more transparent, at least after the fact of a grant. In many states the process for making pardon recommendations is far more open and accountable than the one we now have in the Justice Department, and I think this would both make the process more disciplined and enhance the confidence of the public. One rather radical idea would be to return to the pre-Roosevelt days, when the reasons for the attorney general's recommendations in particular cases were published after the fact of a grant. It tends to enhance public confidence in the exercise of the power when the advice on which the president acts is not secret. I would also make public the advice of the U.S. attorney in a case, whether they opposed or supported.