Monday, November 21, 2011

Obama Grants 5 Pardons, 1 Commutation of Sentence.

The Associated Press reports President Barack Obama has issued five pardons - to Lesley Berry, Dennis Bulin (61), Ricky Collett, Martin Kaprelian (72) and Thomas Ledford - and has commuted the prison sentence of one woman - Eugenia Jennings (34) - bringing his total acts of federal executive clemency to 23.

On average, the six offenders in this batch received their sentence 18.8 years ago (somewhat lower than Obama's overall average of 24.3 years). But the Collett pardon is the very closest President Obama has granted in relation to the original setence (9.7 years). It is true, however, that Collett received no prison sentence and was given only 12 months' probation. On the other hand, three of the six recipients in this batch did actually receive prison sentences - one serving 108 months and another serving 262 months. To date, the typical Obama clemency recipient has had no prison sentence at all, and those with prison sentences have averaged only 24 months.

In sum, at least arguably, this batch of pardons, however small, does appear to be something like a more significant / serious / relevant use of the pardon power. Is the President waking up? Remember, December is just ahead!

It was, of course, significant that Obama commuted the 2001 prison sentence of Eugenia Marie Jennings. The commutation of sentence is Obama's very first, a whopping 1,035 days into the term (the average being a mere 355 days for the last 12 presidents - and with only George W. Bush being slower). The 34-year old Alton, Illinois woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for distribution of cocaine base and may be the youngest person pardoned by the President to date. It is reported that her application was supported by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)

To date, Obama has granted the largest number of pardons and commutations to persons from the State of Illinois. See story here and here and here.

Developing ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy for those who received mercy, system is still broke.Will be interesting to see how many he turned down.

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