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October 6, 2016

Prez Obama commutes 102 more federal prison sentences

I just saw via various news sources that President Obama issued 102 more commutations this afternoon.  This blog post by the White House counsel reports the basics, and here is how it gets started:

Today, President Obama granted commutations to another 102 individuals who have demonstrated that they are deserving of a second chance at freedom.  The vast majority of today’s grants were for individuals serving unduly harsh sentences for drug-related crimes under outdated sentencing laws. With today’s grants, the President has commuted 774 sentences, more than the previous 11 presidents combined.  With a total of 590 commutations this year, President Obama has now commuted the sentences of more individuals in one year than in any other single year in our nation’s history.

While he will continue to review cases on an individualized basis throughout the remainder of his term, these statistics make clear that the President and his administration have succeeded in efforts to reinvigorate the clemency process. Beyond the statistics, though, are stories of individuals who have overcome the longest of odds to earn this second chance.  The individuals receiving commutation today are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and in some cases grandparents.  Today, they and their loved ones share the joy of knowing that they will soon be reunited.

October 6, 2016 at 06:23 PM | Permalink


102 Second Chances? More like 102 Fifth Chances.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 6, 2016 8:01:39 PM

Federalist, don't mean so mean-spirited. The quality of mercy....

Posted by: anon | Oct 6, 2016 9:02:20 PM

Once again, Hail to the Chief!! Bravo, Mr. President.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Oct 6, 2016 9:03:22 PM

Federalist, anon and Levine are right: recall the words of the Bard:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.

Posted by: Dave from Texas | Oct 6, 2016 9:09:39 PM

My Lord, how I will miss this man! Compare him to Trump and weep.

Posted by: Emily | Oct 6, 2016 9:12:47 PM

Obama has held his office with honor and integrity. His family values are emblematic of the best of America. You want to weep? Compare him with Trump (scammer, conman, snake-oil salesman, misogynist, xenophobe, adulterer, narcissist), Giuliani (blowhard, panderer, philanderer, adulterer, liar) , Christie (crook, sycophant, opportunist, narcissist, manipulator, liar).

Posted by: anon12 | Oct 6, 2016 9:32:06 PM

"Mean-spirited"? Is pointing out that "second chance" is not accurate "mean-spirited?"

Posted by: federalist | Oct 7, 2016 10:24:49 AM

And, "so?" You act as if you really believe that you--yes you--do not commit some sort of criminal offense on a daily basis. That being so, by what commission do you begrudge a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. chance for someone whose reality is distinct from yours vis-a-vis the detection and enforcement of one of our byzantine and draconian criminal laws? For shame. Remember, the law in its majesty, yada, de yada....

Posted by: MarK M. | Oct 9, 2016 4:07:20 AM

Mark, what I am doing is criticizing the out and out dishonesty. This "second chance" stuff is just nonsense. Many of these guys were serious criminals by the time they got the sentence that Obama is commuting--"second chance" paints a very different picture.

You'll note that I have not really come out and said that Obama is wrong for the clemency grants--what I am saying is that he has sold them dishonestly and that he's a hypocrite for being so nice to gun-criminals when he plainly wants serious gun control.

You're an idiot.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 10, 2016 10:01:03 AM

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