Showing posts with label Monroe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monroe. Show all posts

Monday, August 8, 2016

Obama Makes History on Two Fronts

Last Wednesday, President Obama granted 214 commutations of sentence, the most any president has ever granted in a single day. In doing so, he broke Franklin Roosevelt's previous record, of 151.

We searched through our data again and discovered President Obama also set another record: for the largest number of individual acts of clemency (pardons, commutations, remissions of fines and forfeiture, respites, etc.) granted in a single day:

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Prof Mark Osler kindly notes that these data would also exclude (in addition to amnesties, or group pardons) grants by Gerald Ford's Presidential Clemency Board - data which are not compiled in DOJ / OPA clemency warrant records. Interestingly, when recent presidents set these marks, it was hardly noticed and no one had any idea of context, whether or not any record had been set. Having gathered comprehensive original data on clemency, the Editor of this Blog is uniquely qualified to provide that context.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Obama and Other Multiple Term Presidents

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Obama is No Nixon (or Eisenhower)

White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston - and others in the White House - are want to compare President Obama's record on clemency favorably (after almost two full years of zero pardons and commutations of sentence) to the least merciful presidents. Even then, the focus of such "analyses" is but one dimension of clemency (commutations, not pardons). We imagine there are other, less awkward and more enlightening reference points: such as presidents who have, like Obama, have served more than one term:

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Fortunately, Mr. Eggleston, who recently presided over an organizational framework which completely excluded the U.S. Pardon Attorney from communication with the Office of White House Counsel - even when the Deputy Attorney General deep-sixed recommendations for clemency - has told Politico that, in the last months of the administration, the “infrastructure is now very much in place” to file and process clemency petitions and we are all "going to start seeing a lot more very quickly" and "on a more regular basis."

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chart: Most Pardons Granted in a Singled Day




Click on chart to enlarge.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On Presidents, Pirates and Pardons

Presidents have understood the potential foreign policy / international benefits of the pardon power at least since April 25, 1793, when George Washington pardoned one Joseph Ravara out of "sentiments of respect" for the Republic of Geneva. Two hundred sixteen years and a few days later, the mother of Abduhl Wali-i-Musi is calling on President Barack Obama to pardon her teenage son, who is about to be tried for piracy. Notwithstanding the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, it does not appear to be the best time in history to be facing such a charge.

John Adams pardoned the first pirate, George Rice, in May of 1800 (for "the public good"), but, in the catalogue of pardoned pirates, the popularity contest is easily won by Jean LaFitte and the Baratarian Pirates. Researching LaFitte (and his brother) is an excellent exercise in myth, legend, lore and - somewhere in there - fact. There appears to be agreement, however, that he was prone to sea sickness and stayed on shore as much as possible. General Andrew Jackson was appalled that the government would call upon the LaFitte (played by Yule Brenner in The Buccaneer) and Baratarian Pirates to assist in the Battle of New Orleans. But the self-righteous disposition of the future president gave way, soon enough, to expediency and, as a reward, President James Madison granted the Baratarians a general pardon. Unfortunately, Madison's grant was premised upon "sincere penitence" and, well, there was no such thing in the mix. So, it wasn't long before the government went right back to hanging Baratarian Pirates en masse and cannon-blasting their island headquarters.

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