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January 17, 2017

Prez Obama issues clemency to 273 more individuals (209 commutation and 64 pardons) and Chelsea Manning among those getting a commuted sentence

Moments after I blogged about the New York Times criticizing Prez Obama on his pardon efforts, this news emerges from the White House:

Today, 273 individuals learned that the President has given them a second chance.  With today’s 209 grants of commutation, the President has now commuted the sentences of 1,385 individuals — the most grants of commutation issued by any President in this nation’s history.  President Obama’s 1,385 commutation grants — which includes 504 life sentences — is also more than the total number of commutations issued by the past 12 presidents combined.  And with today’s 64 pardons, the President has now granted a total of 212 pardons.

Today, 209 commutation recipients — including 109 individuals who had believed they would live out their remaining days in prison — learned that they will be rejoining their families and loved ones, and 64 pardon recipients learned that their past convictions have been forgiven.  These 273 individuals learned that our nation is a forgiving nation, where hard work and a commitment to rehabilitation can lead to a second chance, and where wrongs from the past will not deprive an individual of the opportunity to move forward.  Today, 273 individuals — like President Obama’s 1,324 clemency recipients before them — learned that our President has found them deserving of a second chance.

There is at least one high-profile recipient of a commutation today, as this FoxNews headline reveals:

"Obama commutes Chelsea Manning's sentence for leaking Army documents":

The White House said that Manning is one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama is shortening. Obama is also pardoning 64 people, including retired Gen. James Cartwright, who was charged with making false statements during a probe into disclosure of classified information. Most of the other people receiving commutations were serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Manning is more than six years into a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Her sentence is now set to expire May 17.

January 17, 2017 at 04:58 PM | Permalink


Manning? Are you f'in kidding me?

Compare that to the vindictive decision not to simply let Pollard go to Israel.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 17, 2017 5:20:48 PM

I don't have a problem with Mannings pardon per se but I'm cynical about Obama's motive. Those who oppose the national security state should not allow the emotional appeal of this pardon to cloud their judgement of Obama's legacy. The cynical part of me thinks that clouding people's judgement on this topic was exactly the point of the pardon. In immature minds Obama will now be forever associated as the man who pardoned Manning when Obama should instead be associated as the man who gave unbridled power to Trump.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 17, 2017 5:27:13 PM

There are a range of reasons, not all very principled, possibly behind the Manning commutation. For one thing, having her in custody will likely cause a lot of problems. There is not a zero chance she would have eventually even committed suicide.

Personally, fwiw, I think she warranted prison time, but factoring everything (and her treatment is one factor, though how harsh it was to me is open to some debate), she was in prison long enough. As to "immature minds," glasshouses with such statements like "the man who gave unbridled power to Trump." I reckon voters, etc., had some role there.

I'm not going to take him as some sort of saint for doing this. But, the national security state isn't the work of any one person. It's the norm these days. Obama is yet again not some sort of "socialist" but a rather mainstream centrist and unsurprisingly followed the norm. In the process, he did some sane things, even if some here dreamed he had some special powers or wherewithal to in a conservative nation to be more liberal or libertarian. This commutation is one such sane thing and I appreciate it.

Anyway, lest we single out one person:

"In addition to Manning’s commutation, Obama shortened the sentences of 208 other people, including a pardon for retired Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, who was charged with making false statements during an investigation into leaked classified information." [Buzzfeed]

Posted by: Joe | Jan 17, 2017 6:29:21 PM

"a rather mainstream centrist"

Pure unadulterated bullshit.

By the way, the scum POTUS decided to grant clemency to a terrorist, thereby completing the corrupt Clinton/Holder FALN clemencies.


Posted by: federalist | Jan 17, 2017 8:02:56 PM

Daniel, Obama did not pardon Manning: he commuted his sentence. Big difference.

Posted by: anon2 | Jan 17, 2017 8:32:02 PM

Federalist calls Obama "scum"" A tad over the top, is it not? Let's see what Federalist calls the next groper in chief.

Posted by: anon2 | Jan 17, 2017 8:34:49 PM

I dislike Trump. I loathe Obama.

Obama is scum. Seven years for massive disclosure of classified info . . . .

And an FALN terrorist bastard too---

more 'rat justice

Posted by: federalist | Jan 17, 2017 11:29:03 PM

Federalist, you say you "loathe" Obama. Lots of folks loathed Lincoln and FDR too. History has left those folks in the dustbin.

Posted by: Emily | Jan 18, 2017 12:21:30 AM

Federalist, you merely "dislike" Trump. Is that all? Here we have a true con-man and pathological liar; a predatory groper and sexual pervert (even leaving aside the golden showers); a true misogynist. You are outraged about the release of Manning from prison after serving seven years for leaking classified information to Wikileaks; yet you merely "dislike" the actual Russian shill who is about become President. Oh well.

Posted by: anon4 | Jan 18, 2017 12:36:48 AM

hey anon4---you 'rats lionized Ted Kennedy who tried to enlist the Soviets to influence our elections . . . .

Posted by: federalist | Jan 18, 2017 7:30:35 AM

Federalist, can't speak for others, but I never "lionized" Ted Kennedy for anything.

Posted by: anon4 | Jan 18, 2017 8:30:44 AM

Emily. Lincoln is in a class by himself as the very Worst President in American History. He is 100 times worse than Carter, 10 times worse than Roosevelt. He did more damage to our nation than Adolf Hitler and Hirohito combined.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 18, 2017 9:05:54 AM

Those who use the feminine pronoun in referring to Manning are to be called "deniers," the same category as 9/11 Truthers.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 18, 2017 9:07:37 AM

Police-State apologist and badgebunny bootlicker refers to a true patriot as scum. Orwell was prescient.

Posted by: MarK M. | Jan 18, 2017 9:08:08 AM

police state apologist? You've mistaken me for a statist. I am not. I just think that people who have a hand in bombing campaigns that kill and maim deserve harsh punishments.

Mark, you are an idiot. I've clowned you before in here.

And Obama is not a patriot.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 18, 2017 9:53:11 AM

So what of it though? Kennedy actively tries to enlist Soviet help--and all the 'rats fall all over themselves to praise him. And I am the bad guy for not disliking Trump enough?

Posted by: federalist | Jan 18, 2017 9:54:27 AM

People mentioned in the leaked documents were killed by the Taliban and by Mexican cartels. Manning should be prosecuted for treason and summarily executed.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 18, 2017 10:01:51 AM

federalist agreed with me recently. Basically twice, though I'm thinking of where his comment was solely "agree with Joe." Figure the 2017 quota is settled.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 18, 2017 11:22:43 AM

David Behar, you write: "Lincoln is in a class by himself as the very Worst President in American History. He is 100 times worse than Carter, 10 times worse than Roosevelt. He did more damage to our nation than Adolf Hitler and Hirohito combined."

You are clearly off your rocker: a total nutjob. Today is Wednesday; that's when you take the blue pill, not the red one.

Posted by: Madam DeFarge | Jan 18, 2017 11:27:38 AM

Obama is not a centrist, e.g., AFFH.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 18, 2017 11:30:18 AM

Mark M. Orwell was prescient. You have to call a man by a feminine pronoun. If you fail to do so, you will be sued in federal court, and the verdict against you, the employer will be upheld by an appellate court.

If you have a business in New York City, you will be fined $250,000 per violation.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 18, 2017 11:31:27 AM

Ma Chere Madame: So glad you asked. Lincoln. Killed 850,000 Americans, where all other developed nations ended slavery peacefully. he was offered many peaceful alternatives, he chose war intentionally. Invented the income tax. Enslaved white people by the draft. Blew up the size of federal government. Damaged race relations for 100 years. Failed to understand, the States are the parents, the federal government is the child. If a parent wants to leave, they can, with no legal basis for the war, he provoked. Homosexuals like him tend toward extreme tyranny and big government, once they obtain national power (see the 100% gay Nazi hierarchy, totally gay all the way up to the top). Can you name a President who did more damage than that? He is in a class by himself. Of course, he was a lawyer.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 18, 2017 1:07:38 PM

Clowned? Haha...That's rich. Have a look in the mirror; the big red nose will be a clue.

Posted by: MarK M. | Jan 18, 2017 1:51:18 PM

Professor Berman:

Please read David Behar's scurrilous posts above. Please expel him from this blog. Or, as Cheech and Chong would say, "Bailiff, wack is peepee."

Posted by: Madam DeFarge | Jan 18, 2017 6:12:57 PM

Does scurrilous mean untrue?

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 18, 2017 9:31:56 PM

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