Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Obama Passes 30,000 Mark For Individual Acts of Clemency

Most do not know it, or would not guess it, but, for most of American history, presidents granted pardons every month of the term. Missing a month, or two, was almost unheard of. Consequently, presidents have granted many more individual pardons and commutations of sentence than most Americans know, or might guess.

President Obama's first term was one of the most merciless in history. But this week, in what is apparently going to be part of a notable last-minute surge in clemency, he granted a set of commutations which had the effect of passing the 30,000 mark for individual grants by Presidents of the United States. This figure does not, of course, include group pardons, or amnesties.

We are thrilled for the recipients of the President's commutations, but continue to long for the day when clemency, once again, becomes part of the routine / monthly business of the presidency, and not  merely a Christmastime / Fourth Year of the term / last-minute affair.

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