Earlier today President Obama commuted the sentences of another 153 federal prisoners bringing his total to 1,176, more than the previous 11 presidents combined. The president also pardoned another 78 individuals, bringing his total pardons over the course of his eight years in office to 148. Combined, these 231 acts of clemency sets a record for the most ever granted by a president in a single day in history.
This latest move is just further evidence of his stated intention to ramp up commutations throughout the remainder of his presidency. And, while the President often claims publicly that his commutations are only for "low-level" and "non-violent" criminals, 395 of the 1,176 commutations were offered to people serving life sentences...which typically aren't given to "low-level" criminals caught with a couple ounces of drugs on them.
Of course, in typical fashion, the President took to Twitter to brag about his latest "accomplishment."
And here is the full statement from the President's White House blog released earlier today. As usual, the post ends with a vow to grant even more pardons over the coming weeks as Obama approaches the end of his time in the White House.
Today, President Obama granted clemency to 231 deserving individuals — the most individual acts of clemency granted in a single day by any president in this nation’s history. With today’s 153 commutations, the President has now commuted the sentences of 1,176 individuals, including 395 life sentences. The President also granted pardons to 78 individuals, bringing his total number of pardons to 148. Today’s acts of clemency — and the mercy the President has shown his 1,324 clemency recipients — exemplify his belief that America is a nation of second chances.
The 231 individuals granted clemency today have all demonstrated that they are ready to make use — or have already made use — of a second chance. While each clemency recipient’s story is unique, the common thread of rehabilitation underlies all of them. For the pardon recipient, it is the story of an individual who has led a productive and law-abiding post-conviction life, including by contributing to the community in a meaningful way. For the commutation recipient, it is the story of an individual who has made the most of his or her time in prison, by participating in educational courses, vocational training, and drug treatment. These are the stories that demonstrate the successes that can be achieved — by both individuals and society — in a nation of second chances.
Today’s grants signify the President’s continued commitment to exercising his clemency authority through the remainder of his time in office. In 2016 alone, the President has granted clemency to more than 1,000 deserving individuals. The President continues to review clemency applications on an individualized basis to determine whether a particular applicant has demonstrated a readiness to make use of his or her second chance, and I expect that the President will issue more grants of both commutations and pardons before he leaves office. The mercy that the President has shown his 1,324 clemency recipients is remarkable, but we must remember that clemency is a tool of last resort and that only Congress can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure over the long run that our criminal justice system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety.
Generally a full list of the drug dealers that will be released back on to the streets in the near future can be viewed on the Department of Justice website. That said, Obama seems to be releasing criminals faster than the DOJ can update their site, so you'll have to check back later for the official list.
1,324 extra democrat voters and counting...