“As they rode in the presidential limousine to the U.S. Capitol on Inauguration Day in 2009, former President George W. Bush offered some last minute advice to President-elect Barack Obama: Announce a pardon policy early and stick to it.
‘On the ride up Pennsylvania Avenue…I told Barack Obama about my frustrations with the pardon system,’ Bush wrote in his memoir.
“Obama didn’t seriously focus on pardons and commutations until 2014, two years into his second term. But, on Thursday, his last full day in office, Obama announced 330 more commutations, bringing his total number of clemencies to 1,715. He has granted commutations to more people than the last 12 presidents combined, including 568 inmates with life sentences. His final group of clemencies was the most Obama granted in a single day.”