Jacob Sullum on Obama's Amazingly Stingy Clemency Record


Credit: Steve Rhodes / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Will Barack Obama go down in history as our least merciful president? As he began his second term, writes Jacob Sullum, this reputedly progressive and enlightened man had a strong shot at winning that dubious distinction. December, a traditional season for presidential clemency, came and went, and Obama had granted just one commutation (which shortens a prisoner's sentence) and 22 pardons (which clear people's records, typically after they've completed their sentences). His first-term record looks weaker than those of all but a few previous presidents.