Showing posts with label Truman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Truman. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Obama's Abysmal Record on Pardons

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Obama and Other Multiple Term Presidents

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Obama: Second Only to Wilson and Coolidge in Commutations

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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:

Click on Image (Above) to Enlarge
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."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Obama: More Dubious Pardon History-Making

President Obama's first term has now ended and, along the way, his administration tied Bill Clinton's first term for the fewest months featuring grants of either pardons or commutations of sentence. Obama granted a mere 22 pardons and 1 commutation of sentence, the lowest number for a full term for any president since George Washington! And he (Obama) did it all in just three months. The remaining 46 months of the term were a complete wash.

It will now be interesting to see just how far clemency dysfunction continues. In the first term. Obama also strung together 23 consecutive months without granting a single act of clemency. The length of the drought tied George W. Bush's first term for the longest of any modern president. Obama is currently riding a 14-month string of inaction.

Months Featuring   Clemency (of 49)
Months Without Clemency (of 49) Most  Consecutive Months Without Clemency
F. Roosevelt (1)    45     4        4
F. Roosevelt (2)    37     12        11
F. Roosevelt (3)    44      5        1
FDR / Truman (s)    46     3        1
Truman (1)    49     -        -
Eisenhower (1)    25     24        7
Eisenhower (2)    14     35        7
Kennedy / Johnson (s)    40     9        3
Johnson (1)    23     26        7
Nixon (1)    5     44        13
Nixon (2) / Ford (s)    17     32        9 
Carter    31     18        5
Reagan (1)    17     32        8
Reagan (2)    31     17        5
Bush    5     44       18
Clinton (1)    3     46         22
Clinton (2)    11     38       11
Bush (1)    7     42       23
Bush (2)    13     36       7
Obama    3     46       23

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What will a Merciless December Mean for Obama?

If President Obama fails to grant a single pardon or commutation of sentence this month (December), he will come ever closer to matching Bill Clinton's record of 46 months in a term without an act of clemency. Obama has already tied George W. Bush's record for the most consecutive months (23) without a pardon or commutation of sentence.
Months Featuring   Clemency (of 49)
Months Without Clemency (of 49) Most  Consecutive Months Without Clemency
F. Roosevelt (1)    45     4        4
F. Roosevelt (2)    37     12        11
F. Roosevelt (3)    44      5        1
FDR / Truman (s)    46     3        1
Truman (1)    49     -        -
Eisenhower (1)    25     24        7
Eisenhower (2)    14     35        7
Kennedy / Johnson (s)    40     9        3
Johnson (1)    23     26        7
Nixon (1)    5     44        13
Nixon (2) / Ford (s)    17     32        9 
Carter    31     18        5
Reagan (1)    17     32        8
Reagan (2)    31     17        5
Bush    5     44       18
Clinton (1)    3     46         22
Clinton (2)    11     38       11
Bush (1)    7     42       23
Bush (2)    13     36       7
Obama    3     45*       23

* January remaining in the term.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Obama: The No Commutation of Sentence President

Only George W. Bush waited longer than President Obama to grant the first act of clemency in his term. To date, Obama has granted a paltry 17 presidential pardons (largely restoring the civil rights of persons who committed minor offenses decades ago) and zero commutations of sentence.

President              Days before First Commutation of Sentence
-----------              ---------------------------------------------------------
Obama                1,004 ... and counting
Clinton                  672
Reagan                  317
Eisenhower           282
Nixon                    282
H.W. Bush             206
Carter                    82
Ford (s)                  61
Truman (s)             54
Johnson (s)            30
Kennedy                 19

Sunday, September 25, 2011

History Detectives Talks Presidential Pardon

P.S. Ruckman, Jr., the Editor of the PardonPower blog will be making his second appearance on the popular PBS television program History Detectives, this Tuesday evening, September 27 (8:00 pm Pacific, 7:00 pm Central - check your local listings). Interested readers can see video of the first appearance here.

For this episode, the Editor was flown to a branch of the National Archives in Seattle, Washington, where he and History Detective (Professor of History at Arizona State University and all-around cool guy) Eduardo Pagan looked over documents related to a presidential pardon that was granted by Harry S Truman. As expected, the conversation was excellent, the work was interesting and the crew was a pleasure to get to know and work with. The Truman pardon is part of a more broad story related to a California business card and the Prohibition Era. The night's episode will also feature a spot on the St. Valentine's Day Massacre (which, of course, took place, near the Editor's favorite restaurant - the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder).

So, per usual, the viewers of this episode of History Detectives are bound to be both educated and entertained. Please join us and, if you like, share your thoughts on the episode here! Working with the History Detectives group was definitely a great honor and a highlight of the year. We also extend a very gracious and heartfelt hat tip to the cooks at Seattle's 13 Coins, who served up fantastic seafood and laughs!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Obama: Just Too Busy for Mercy

James Buchanan granted 25 presidential pardons from the time South Carolina seceded from the Union and the Confederate States of America were formed (February 1861).

Abraham Lincoln took the time to grant 5 pardons in July of 1861, following the disastrous showing of Federal troops in the Battle of the First Bull Run. In early 1862, he granted 7 pardons while his 11-year old son, Willie, suffered (and eventually died) from typhoid fever. Lincoln also granted 3 pardons during the week of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Remembering Ellis H. Parker (The American Sherlock Holmes) is featuring an excellent story on an individual that PardonPower has been thinking about for years, the "American Sherlock Holmes," one Ellis H. Parker. More specifically, the piece, written by Danielle Camilla, focuses on the grandson of Parker, Andrew Sahol, who is "methodically piecing together a mystery in search of the truth."

Sahol is also attempting to land one of those ever-so-popular posthumous pardons for his grandfather - something which was sought almost immediately following the great detective's death while serving out a six-year federal prison sentence with his son, Ellis H. Parker, Jr. (who was pardoned by Harry Truman). Mr. Sahol now claims to have "documented proof" that Ellis H. Parker was "framed."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Prodigy, Rising Star, That Went to Prison

Edward Fretwell Prichard, Jr. was marked by Central Press as one of the six brightest students in America. As a result, the prodigy was treated to an all-expense paid tour of Europe and got a chance to meet Benito Mussolini.

Prichard entered Princeton University when he was only sixteen years old, but became involved in (and eventually the President of) the school’s Woodrow Wilson Democratic Club. Later, “Prich” worked with the Democratic Party on Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential campaign. He also became an editor for the school’s newspaper, the Daily Princetonian, and made the honor roll. Along the way, he gained a reputation as a formidable debater and orator.

Prichard graduated at the top of his class but made the New York Times his senior year after throwing a three-keg “beer party” in his dorm. He then found himself suspended from Princeton indefinitely. The party was thrown after he had debated the constitutionality of the New Deal with Colonel Henry Breckenridge (candidate for the United States Senate). Prichard was declared the winner of the debate by a vote of ninety-six to seventy-two.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Granting the First Commutation of Sentence

Over the last 12 presidencies, there has been an average of 329 days between inauguration and the granting of the first commutation of sentence. This number is, of course, heavily skewed by the data for the administration of George W. Bush - the slowest president in American history to grant any form of clemency. Excluding that administration, the number falls all of the way to 249. Regardless, the delay in the Obama administration - despite record numbers of applications for commutation of sentence - is more than twice the average for these recent administrations.

Assumed Office
Date of First Commutation of Sentence
Number of Days Till
First Commutation
H.W. Bush
W. Bush
- - -
735 and counting …

* These data represent the result of a preliminary run - at the request of media - through an original data set on presidential pardons from 1789 to 2011. The author will edit / amend / correct the data after additional research, should the need arise.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Decline in Christmas Clemency?

In December of 1999, an article in Christian Science Monitor suggested that, in recent years, there has been a decline in "Christmas Clemency." The article was generally based on the fact that President Clinton had gone a couple of Decembers without granting any pardons or commutations of sentence. Otherwise, no data were presented on the topic.

Using our own original data, we have calculated the total number of December pardons and commutations of sentence, by year and administration, from 1945 (Truman) to 2010 (Obama). Click on the image to the left.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Obama: 60 Days from Making History

President Barack Obama has now gone 612 days without granting a single presidential pardon or commutation of sentence. Almost 2,000 applications are pending and a couple of thousand more are new and fresh.

In 60 days, however, President Obama will pass Bill Clinton (whose administration made quite the mark when it came to pardons), and will become the slowest Democratic President in American history to discover the clemency power.

It only took John F. Kennedy 19 days to do so. Carter waited 82 days. Harry Truman needed only 8 days after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, and only 6 days after being elected. Woodrow Wilson took only 9 days. Lyndon Johnson only waited 30 days after the death of John F. Kennedy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Curley Politics: Fake Hate / Care Never Quite Out of Style

Time magazine reports that Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana) told a reporter that he and Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) recently left the Cannon House Office Building and were subjected to a group of individuals chanting "the N-word, the N-word, 15 times." Jim Clyburn (D- South Carolina) called the behavior of protesters "absolutely shocking" and added that he had "heard people saying things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus."

While there are those who will leap at the opportunity to redirect heat from wildly controversial (if not unpopular) legislation, and of course those who will rejoice at every opportunity they can find to declare political opponents "evil" and portray themselves as the victims of "hate" ... we, frankly, cannot get past the simple, bothersome suggestion that there actually was such behavior, in this day and age. For that reason, we choose to leap at - and rejoice over - the fact that, to date, there appears to not be a single shred of evidence that that any of these things happened, other than 1) the word of persons who made the claims 2) reporters willing to report such claims  for sensational effect, all the while using words like "apparently" and "evidently" and 3) partisan cheerleaders who are simply in it for the smear.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wilbur B. Foshay's Amazing Story

Wilbur Burton Foshay’s first important business venture was the United Gas Improvement Co. of Hutchinson, Kansas. In 1914, he borrowed two thousand dollars and moved to Minneapolis, where he started another utilities outfit. Then, in 1916, he borrowed another six thousand dollars and launched Wilbur B. Foshay Utility Company. The venture, which started with one employee in a small office in the First National-Soo Line Building in Minneapolis, eventually became Foshay Enterprises.

A federal judge once described Foshay's business legacy as a "Napoleonic adventure" in which Foshay discovered that he could sell stocks and securities of utility companies if people believed the companies were making large current incomes on the invested capitol. Indeed, Foshay's basic strategy was to buy up utility companies, manage them, then sell stock in his utility empire. By 1929, he had thousands of employees and many thousands more of investors.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Context: Amnesties (or Blanket Pardons)

Washington - July 10 1795, Whiskey Insurrectionists
Adams - May 21 1800, Pennsylvania Insurrectionists (Fries Rebellion)
Jefferson - October 15 1807, Military deserters (if surrendered in 4 months)
Madison - February 7 1812, Military deserters (if surrendered in 4 months)
Madison - October 8 1812, Military deserters (if surrendered in 4 months)
Madison - June 14 1814, Military deserters (if surrendered in 4 months)
Madison - February 6 1815, Pirates participating in War of 1812
Jackson - June 12 1830, Military deserters discharged, those confined released
Buchanan - April 6, 1858, Utah uprising
Lincoln - February 14 1862, Political prisoners paroled
Lincoln - March 10 1863, Military deserters restored with only forfeiture of pay
Lincoln - December 8 1863, “Rebellion” participants (with exceptions) subject to oath
Lincoln - February 26 1864, Military deserters sentences mitigated, restored to duty
Lincoln - March 26 1864, Clarification of December 8, 1863, amnesty
Lincoln - March 11 1865, Military deserters (if returned to post in 60 days)
Johnson - May 29 1865, Certain rebels of Confederate States
Johnson - May 4 1866, Clarification of previous amnesty
Johnson - July 3 1866, Military deserters restored with only forfeiture of pay
Johnson - September 7 1867, Confederates (excepting certain officers) subject to oath
Johnson - July 4 1868, Confederates (except those indicted for treason or felony)
Johnson - December 25 1868, Confederates (universal and unconditional)
Harrison - January 4 1893, Mormons practicing polygamy
Cleveland - September 25 1894, Mormons practicing polygamy
T. Roosevelt - July 4 1902, Philippine insurrectionists, subject to oath
Wilson - June 14 1917 5,000, Persons under suspended sentences
Wilson - August 21 1917, Clarification, reaffirmation of June 14 amnesty
Coolidge - December 15 1923, Espionage Act
Coolidge - March 5 1924, Over 100 military deserters. Restoration of citizenship.
F. Roosevelt - December 23 1933, Over 1,500 who violated Espionage or Draft laws.
Truman - December 24 1945, Thousands of ex-convicts serving at least 1 year in war
Truman - December 23 1947, 1,523 draft evaders (recommended by Amnesty Board)
Truman - December 24 1952, Convicts serving armed forces at least 1 year since 1950
Truman - December 24 1952, Military deserters convicted between 1945 and 1950
Ford - September 16 1974, Vietnam draft evaders. Conditioned on public service
Carter - January 21 1977, Vietnam draft evaders. Unconditional pardon

* For additional updating / commentary on this list, contact the Editor of this blog.

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