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Presidential Pardons

Criminal Injustice

Rep. John Conyers | Posted 07.21.2014 | Politics
Rep. John Conyers

For decades, Congress has implemented policies that distort America's criminal justice system and tip the scales of justice in favor of punishment over rehabilitation. As a matter of civil rights and basic justice, our criminal justice system must change.

Obama Clemency Plan for Drug Law Offenders Is Welcome News

Anthony Papa | Posted 06.22.2014 | Politics
Anthony Papa

As someone who received executive clemency from the governor of New York in 1997, I know personally the power of such an extraordinary act of mercy to people who have already served enormous amounts of time imprisoned under unjust drug laws.

Narcotic Sentencing's Long Arc and Obama's Year of Action

Mark Osler | Posted 04.28.2014 | Politics
Mark Osler

For the first time since Bill Clinton famously wandered through the press cabin in Air Force One asking, "You got anybody you wanna pardon?", a president is actively seeking candidates to have their sentences shortened. Unlike Clinton, Obama is asking the question seriously.

Three Executive Actions Obama Can Take to Rein in the Drug War

Sam Tracy | Posted 04.01.2014 | Politics
Sam Tracy

If Obama doesn't want to take the political risk that such a mass pardoning may bring, he could at least start with the most heinous cases, like the many people serving life sentences for as little as cocaine residue in a clothing pocket.

Obama's Opening to Mercy

Mark Osler | Posted 03.31.2014 | Religion
Mark Osler

Shortly before Christmas, we saw President Obama employ this power in a meaningful and strategic way. He granted 13 pardons and commuted eight prisoners. The commutations were particularly significant, as they represented the largest number of commutations in a single day in over a decade.

Will Gov. Cuomo Use His Clemency Powers in 2013?

Anthony Papa | Posted 02.16.2014 | New York
Anthony Papa

Since he has been in office, Cuomo has yet to use these powers and has not granted anyone any type of relief despite hundreds and hundreds of applications.

Ryan J. Reilly

Eric Holder Says Obama Still Has Time To Improve Pardon Record

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 12.16.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- It's a bit too soon to judge President Barack Obama on his terrible pardon record, Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of African-...

Can the Presidential Turkey Pardon Just Go Away Already?

Michael A. Webermann | Posted 01.27.2014 | Green
Michael A. Webermann

While the stunt makes every effort to indicate that turkey farming is a humane industry, the reality is not what we'd like to believe.

Ryan J. Reilly

Obama Has Pardoned Almost As Many Turkeys As Drug Offenders

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 11.27.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- When President Barack Obama pardons two overweight turkeys named Carmel and Popcorn during a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, t...

President Obama, Pardon Both the Turkey and Drug War Prisoners for the Holidays

Anthony Papa | Posted 01.26.2014 | Crime
Anthony Papa

I support and applaud President Obama's treatment of turkeys. But I have to ask the president: what about the treatment of the more than 100,000 people who are incarcerated in the federal system because of the war on drugs?

One State Knows Turkeys Are Better For Eating Than Pardoning

AP | PATRICK CONDON | Posted 11.25.2013 | Politics

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — With two other turkeys ticketed for a presidential pardon at the White House, their brother met Minnesota's governor Monday a...

Letters from Prison

Mark Osler | Posted 11.10.2013 | Religion
Mark Osler

If we are honest, we all have an agenda. My own agenda is shaped by a passage my mom taught me, Micah 6:8. It teaches that what God requires is that we seek justice, love mercy, and "walk humbly with our God."

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing and Potential Pardons by President Obama

Anthony Papa | Posted 10.26.2013 | Crime
Anthony Papa

Last week I listened with great interest to a speech Attorney General Eric Holder presented in front of the American Bar Association.

Why Is Don Siegelman Still in Jail?

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 06.17.2013 | Politics
Bennett L. Gershman

Despite all this, President Obama, apparently on advice from his "Pardon Attorneys," has refused to grant Siegelman a pardon or commute his seven-year sentence. Why?

How to Awaken the Pardon Power

Mark Osler | Posted 06.11.2013 | Politics
Mark Osler

In recent months, a striking array of people have called attention to the often-forgotten ability of the president to shorten sentences and pardon convictions. It's no wonder: There is a crisis of over-incarceration in this country, and the pardon power is an obvious way to address it.

Any Hope Left for Clarence Aaron?

Julie Stewart | Posted 05.08.2013 | Politics
Julie Stewart

Clarence Aaron has been in prison for 20 years and the president has the power to order him released tomorrow. It is way past time for Clarence Aaron's mother to live on more than the thin gruel of hope dished out by the president.

Obama's Persecution of Bradley Manning

Anthony Gregory | Posted 05.06.2013 | Politics
Anthony Gregory

Many struggle to reconcile their genuine commitments to human rights with their admiration for the president. But here no reconciliation is possible.

Obama Pardons 17 People

AP | JULIE PACE | Posted 05.01.2013 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Friday issued pardons for 17 people, largely for minor offenses. Those receiving pardons came from 13 states ...

The Demise of Presidential Pardons

Renee Parsons | Posted 03.05.2013 | Politics
Renee Parsons

Until recently, a history of pardons granted by every occupant of the Oval Office reveals that each president understood that a pardon was an established response from a compassionate country towards those Americans who had strayed off course and deserved a second chance.

WATCH: Melissa Harris-Perry Criticizes Obama By Way Of Turkey Pardon

Posted 11.25.2012 | Media

Melissa Harris-Perry criticized Obama on her Saturday MSNBC show by discussing his pardon of Cobbler the turkey for Thanksgiving. In her signature ...

Ask Now About the Pardon Power

Mark Osler | Posted 11.21.2012 | Politics
Mark Osler

In the debates, there will be no shortage of questions about the economy, health care, foreign policy, and immigration. There ought to be time for at least one question that asks about this vestigial power of kings to grant mercy, which will rest uneasily in the hands of the election's victor.

White Convicts Four Times As Likely To Receive Presidential Pardons, Reports Find

The Huffington Post | Gene Demby | Posted 08.12.2012 | Black Voices

A few months after a series of newspaper reports showed that black federal prisoners were much less likely to receive presidential pardons, the federa...

Fixing the 'Façade of Concern'

Molly M. Gill | Posted 07.31.2012 | Crime
Molly M. Gill

How could President Obama serve justice, show mercy, and correct appalling wrongdoing by a government official -- all without the approval of Congress? He could commute the sentence of Clarence Aaron.

Pardon Attorney Torpedoes Plea for Presidential Mercy

Posted 05.14.2012 | Crime

ProPublica's Dafna Linzer reports: A version of this story was co-published with The Washington Post. Clarence Aaron seemed to be especially deservin...

Who's to Blame for Pardon Abuse?

Mark Osler | Posted 05.19.2012 | Politics
Mark Osler

We repeatedly express surprise when this unilateral power is used and are quick to decry the lack of principle behind some uses of the pardon power. Yet we never ask how a candidate would use the pardon power during the election cycle?