The policy discussion around the President’s constitutional power to commute sentences has been reinvigorated. The Obama Administration, like yesterday’s Ford and Kennedy Administrations, recognized that a direct path to correct the flaws of drug law sentencing is through a systematic exercise of the clemency power. As such, the Obama Administration called for the identification and vetting of long-standing drug cases, particularly where there has been a later change in the law.
CLEMENCY SPOTLIGHTS: President Obama Offers Ongoing Clemency, William Underwood (denied clemency 1.18.17), Ronald Blount (denied clemency 1.18.17), 25 women, Leonard Peltier (denied clemency 1.18.17), Weldon Angelos (granted clemency 6.3.16), Clemency Recipient Norman Brown, Angela C. Wright (denied clemency 1.18.17), Marcus Garvey
President Obama grants 330 commutations on last full day in office; total commutes, 1,715, is more people than the last 12 presidents combined, January 19, 2017
President Obama Has Now Granted More Commutations than Any President in this Nation’s History; 273 People Given Second Chance, January 17, 2017
Obama grants clemency to 231 individuals; largest single day grant December 19, 2016