Monday, March 28, 2016

Obama's Clemency Record to Date

To date, President Obama has granted 70 pardons (4 conditional) and 187 commutations of sentence (6 conditional). The figure for pardons is lowest for any full term president since the administration of John Adams (1797 to 1801). The figure for commutations is better than most recent presidents, who were both notoriously neglectful of the pardon power and received far fewer applications (see second chart, below). 150 of President Obama's 257 total grants (or 58 percent) have been granted in a single month alone, December.

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 As Obama has explained things, he "noticed," at the end of his first year in office, that he wasn't getting the right kind of clemency recommendations, really important ones. So, four or five years later, he "revamped" the system to be more "efficient." To date, 1,692 pardon petitions have been denied (more than five of the previous six presidents), as well as 8,123 requests for commutations (a new record). An additional 3,444 requests have been “closed without presidential action.”

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