Obama Issues His Fourth Batch of Pardons; Still No More Commutations


White House

Today President Obama issued 17 pardons, more than he granted in any of his three prior batches. In fact, today's pardons amount to more than two-fifths of all the clemency petitions Obama has granted since taking office in January 2009. Obama, contrary to what his rhetoric about "second chances" and our excessively punitive criminal justice system might lead you to believe, is not big on clemency.

All 17 pardons involved relatively minor, nonviolent offenses, several of which should not be crimes at all and only five of which resulted in jail or prison terms: 54 days for embezzlement, six months for "unlawful use of a communication facility to distribute cocaine," one year for a Sherman Act violation, two years for "aiding and abetting in the theft of an interstate shipment," and five years for selling cocaine. The other 12 applicants, whose offenses include "aiding and abetting a wire fraud," "conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods," " unauthorized acquisition of food stamps," and "possession of an unregistered firearm," received probation. As is typically the case, all of the pardons cleared the records of people who completed their sentences years ago.

Since drug law violations account for a large share of federal criminal cases and almost half of the people serving time in federal prisons, you'd think they would be better represented among pardons, especially since, unlike many of the other offenses committed by these applicants, they do not involve violating anyone's rights. Still, two is better than none, which is the number of commutations that Obama saw fit to grant this time around. Although thousands of drug offenders are serving federal sentences that Obama himself has said are unjust, he so far has shortened exactly one.

More on Obama's amazingly stingy clemency record here.

NEXT: Ed. Secretary Admits to Misleading about Teacher Pink Slips

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. And I have a feeling they were all black!

    1. AnonBot or StormFrontBot? You decide!

      1. Whoever it is they made me spit my drink.

      2. I’m not sure which is worse: StormFrontbot or pedobot.

        1. They are all pedo-bot, just pseudonyms. He must have gotten a serious AI upgrade cuz his posts are spookily on target.

    2. This is what happens when American/Liberty/Etc posts here

    3. These bots really are on the cusp of attaining sentience.

      1. Nothing will ever beat “Naked kids?!?! Pics or it didn’t happen!’


  2. I think we need more immigrants. The other day I had to get people to work on my corporate plantation family farm and the workers wanted 10$ an hour, plus some time for breaks! Fucking fascism.

    1. And speak of the devil …

      1. I don’t see American. Did he get deleted again?

        1. Yep

  3. Pedo-bot’s post aside, it would be interesting to see who is getting clemency from shithead. I feel certain they are all politically advantageous to him. He never does anything that isnt politically advantageous.

    As John learned, it is a safe bet to always assume with worst with this slimy douche.

    1. That was my first thought as well. What does this gain him? Of course, the press won’t even look into it.

      1. My favorite part of Obama supporters is that they went from ‘Hope and Change’ to ‘Bush did it too.’ They see no irony in this.

        1. Being a partisan tool requires that one be impervious to irony. They can’t survive otherwise.

          The worst part of this is that while these people are going to pay for being partisan fucks (they will suffer the effects of Obamacare and higher taxes and less liberty too), they suck the rest of us all in with them. If it were just them I’d say “full speed ahead, partisan morons!”

          Which is why I’m going to go drink some martinis right after work.

          1. You’re still at work? Where do you live? It’s only 2 hours til bar time in the Midwest.

            1. Episiarch lives in a condo in Seattle, that’s why he drinks drinks like martinis and not man drinks like me.

              Me? Personally, I’m slurpin’ on a rotgut-bathtub gin motoroil-tini, right now.


        2. “from ‘Hope and Change’ to ‘Bush did it too.’

          That would be a good title for a history of the Obama administration.

  4. one year for a Sherman Act violation

    ” unauthorized acquisition of food stamps,”

    Taking care of the “base” constituencies.

    1. When I saw that, I thought, “Damn, Obama would rather let someone off that defrauds the taxpayers than someone who sold a consenting adult medical marijuana”.

      I’m starting to think he may actually be evil, rather than incompetent.

  5. BHO issues a few pardons and we complain about his stinginess on them. Meanwhile, there is a petition in the CZ Senate to charge the newest CATO scholar with treason for a big batch of pardons in his old gig and El Jeffe tweets out some old criticisms. It seems like El Jeffe has an irrational allergy that has him judging the new CATO guy to different standards than any other politician.

  6. No pardon for Bradley Manning, eh.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.