Saturday, March 2, 2013

Obama: 17 Pardons (Update)

It appears that, while President Obama's record breaking merciless first term has been followed by a relative burst of clemency activity (17 pardons for minor offenses), his decisions are, increasingly, less relevant.

We received data from Charlie Savage, of the New York Times (one of the very few prominent reporters consistently interested in matters related to clemency) on the sentencing dates for each of the recent clemency recipients. By our calculations, the average distance between sentencing and clemency for this round of recipients is 27.3 years. For all 40 of Obama's clemency recipients (39 pardons and 1 commutation of sentence), the figure is 25.6 years.

Roy Eugene Grimes becomes the new long-distance record recipient for Obama. His offense was committed 51.7 years before clemency! The previous champ was Russell James Dixon, who was pardoned by Obama 50.5 years after the fact.

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