Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Reuters: Numbers Without Vision

We note, with interest, this report from Reuters:
The White House has said that a pardon request from [Bradley] Manning would be considered "like any other application." Obama has issued far fewer pardons than the two previous presidents, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, according to the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney. Obama has received 1,496 petitions for pardons and granted 2.6 percent of them.
that can be found here. The numbers are accurate, of course, but the striking absence of the big picture is, well, somewhat disconcerting.

If Reuters had a little more interest in the matter, it could have noted that - to date - the typical Obama clemency recipient has committed an offense so minor that prison time was never even in the mix. Where prison was involved, the average sentence was a mere 18 months. Manning's 35-year sentence is thus, a somewhat awkward detail.

It is certainly also worth noting that, on average, the "other" clemency applications that have been granted in the Obama administration have floated around in the federal bureaucracy for 3.6 years! Obama will, of course, be long gone, by then.

Oh, and after floating around in the bureaucracy, the "other" applications granted by Obama have hung around the White House, on average, 362 more days!

But, it doesn't stop there: the average distance between sentencing and clemency for President Obama's "other applications" has been 25 years!

That means Mr. Manning's application, if treated like the "others" granted during the Obama administration, can expect mercy somewhere around 2038, or maybe 2039.

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