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July 4, 2018

Hey Prez Trump, how about honoring Independence Day by using your clemency power to give some more Americans more liberty?

It is now been nearly a month since Prez Donald Trump commuted the life sentence of Alice Johnson at the behest of Kim Kardashian West (basics here).  Immediately thereafter, there were reports here of "a growing list of potential pardons or commutations under consideration by President Donald Trump" and Prez Trump himself said: "We have 3,000 names.  We’re looking at them.  Of the 3,000 names, many of those names have been treated unfairly."  A week later it was reported Prez Trump will be "pardoning a lot of people — pardons that even Obama wouldn't do" and reported that Mrs. West had "assembled a large legal team and was pursuing clemency for several other nonviolent offenders."  And, as posts here and here highlighted, plenty of folks have been taking up the President's call to put forward worthy clemency candidates.

I have been more than a bit worried that all the buzz about all sorts of clemency action may be a lot of talk that may not be followed by a lot of action.  But, as the title of this post is meant to suggest, I think Independence Day — when we celebrate a great document that starts by stressing the "unalienable Rights [of] Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" — would be a fitting day for Prez Trump to help, through grants of clemency, at least a few more persons enjoy "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  

I am not yet going to get cynical about Prez Trump's clemency chatter because I am eager to hold out hope that he might have a desire to best Prez Obama's record-setting clemency numbers. But, as regular readers know, I am ever eager to criticize leaders who "talk the talk" but then fail to "walk the walk."  Today strikes me as a great time for the bold clemency walk to get started.

A few of many recent related posts about recent Trumpian clemency activity:

July 4, 2018 at 10:58 AM | Permalink


You never gave BHO any credit and you bend over backwards to praise DJT. Sad.

Posted by: [email protected] | Jul 6, 2018 8:32:52 AM

I respectfully disagree, dontask. Over the years I have read SLP, I can easily tell where Doug stands on sentencing issues, but I have not discerned his political leanings from what he has posted. Even in this post, he only hopes for Trump to improve on Obama's "record-setting" number of clemencies. It seems to me that calling BHO's clemency initiative "record-setting" is giving him plenty of credit.

At the same time, this post did not give Trump credit, but rather warned him not to be all hat and no cattle when it came to delivering on his promises.

It would not be disrespectful to Babe Ruth to have cheered Hank Aaron for breaking the Babe's home run record. The same goes here.

Posted by: Tom Root | Jul 6, 2018 9:00:50 AM

Thanks for the appreciated defense, Tom (and I always love sports metaphors).

I really make a conscious effort to avoid in my commentary the extreme tribalism that now defines so much of modern political discourse, but I often perceive that tribalism colors how some react to my posts and others' comments.

Posted by: Doug B | Jul 6, 2018 5:57:44 PM

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