Sam Morison is a top nationally recognized expert on Federal executive clemency and the restoration of civil rights.
Samuel T. Morison served for more than 13 years as an attorney in the Office of the Pardon Attorney, which is the agency within the U.S. Department of Justice that is responsible for assisting the President in the exercise of the pardon power.
Mr. Morison has reviewed literally hundreds of applications for all forms of executive clemency, more than any other attorney in private practice. The applications included pardons after completion of sentence, commutations (reduction) of sentence, and remission of fines. He also supervised the necessary background investigations conducted by the FBI to determine whether an applicant was a suitable candidate for executive clemency based on policies set between the Justice Department and the White House. In addition, he prepared the Department's written recommendation to the President regarding the disposition of individual cases. He applies this valuable experience and the extensive, detailed knowledge towards helping his clients submit the best application possible.
Having been in practice for a total of almost 25 years, Mr. Morison is a member of the North Carolina and District of Columbia bars and is admitted to practice before several federal district and appellate courts. He graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was selected for the Order of the Coif legal honorary for students who ranked in the top 10 percent of their law school class.
He then served as a law clerk for Judge William L. Osteen, Sr. on the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. After clerking, he practiced law for five years with two leading firms in Washington, D.C., where he handled a range of litigation matters in several substantive areas, including white collar crime.
In addition to his law degree, Mr. Morison received a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies from George Mason University, and more recently completed a Master of Arts in philosophy and social policy from American University in Washington, DC.
Mr. Morison has published widely in leading academic journals on a variety of topics, including the history and theory of executive clemency, the philosophy of law, and the international law of armed conflict. A list of some of the relevant publications is below. In addition, he is regularly asked to review books on criminal justice policy for professional publications. He is also quoted frequently in the national press on the federal clemency process, including by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, MSNBC, and many other media outlets located in the U.S. and abroad. Go to News to find links to some of those op-eds, interviews, articles, etc.
Accepting Sosa’s Invitation: Did Congress Expand the Subject Matter Jurisdiction of the ATS in the Military Commissions Act?, 43 GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 1097 (2012).
History and Tradition in American Military Justice, 33 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 121 (2011).
Presidential Pardons and Immigration Law, 6 STANFORD JOURNAL OF CIVIL RIGHTS & CIVIL LIBERTIES 253 (2010).
Custom, Reason and the Common Law: A Reply to Hasnas, 2 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW & LIBERTY 209 (2007).
Rejoinder to Hasnas, 2 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW & LIBERTY 258 (2007).
The Politics of Grace: On the Moral Justification of Executive Clemency, 9 BUFFALO CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW 1 (2005).
Prescriptive Justice and the Weight of History, 38 CREIGHTON LAW REVIEW 1153 (2005).
The Crooked Timber of Liberal Democracy, 2005 MICHIGAN STATE LAW REVIEW 461 (review essay on Randy E. Barnett, Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty (Princeton University Press 2004)).
A Hayekian Theory of Social Justice, 1 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF LAW & LIBERTY 225 (2005) (symposium issue on the thought of Friedrich A. Hayek).
Reprinted in Social Justice: Emerging Dimensions (R. Satyanarayana, ed., Amicus Books, 2010), pp. 26-59.
Review of Allan A. Ryan, Yamashita’s Ghost: War Crimes, MacArthur’s Justice, and Command Accountability (University Press of Kansas 2012), in 23 LAW & POLITICS BOOK REVIEW 33 (2013).
Review of Neil MacCormick, H.L.A. Hart, Second Edition (Stanford University Press 2008), in 19 LAW & POLITICS BOOK REVIEW 41 (2009).
Review of Keally McBride, Punishment and Political Order (University of Michigan Press 2007), in 18 LAW & POLITICS BOOK REVIEW 57 (2008).
Review of Austin Sarat, Mercy on Trial: What it Means to Stop an Execution (Princeton University Press 2005), in 1 CRIMINAL LAW & PHILOSOPHY 327 (2007).
Review of Charles Fried, Modern Liberty and the Limits of Government (W.W. Norton 2006), in 17 LAW & POLITICS BOOK REVIEW 87 (2007).
Review of Paul H. Robinson & Michael T. Cahill, Law Without Justice: Why Criminal Law Doesn’t Give People What They Deserve (Oxford University Press 2006), in 16 LAW & POLITICS BOOK REVIEW 510 (2006).
Review of Nathan Hall, Hate Crime (Willan Publishing, 2005), in 16 LAW & POLITICS BOOK REVIEW 42 (2006).
Pardons Are Rooted In U.S. History And The Constitution, Room for Debate, NEW YORK TIMES, Jan. 26, 2015.
The Drone Memo Makes It Clear: Khadr’s Conviction Lacks Legal Foundation, LAWFARE BLOG, July 14, 2014.
Saving Grace: Salvaging the Pardon Advisory System, AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY BLOG, Dec. 12, 2011.
A no-pardon Justice Department, LOS ANGELES TIMES, Nov. 6, 2010.
Numerous appearances in major national media, including MSNBC, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and the Kojo Nnamdi Show.
While no one can guarantee that you will actually receive a pardon from the President, Mr. Morison is uniquely qualified to give you a realistic evaluation of your case.
If you choose to apply for a pardon, he can help you prepare an application package that will give you the best possible chance of obtaining a favorable outcome.
To contact Sam Morison for a consultation, click here.