President Obama and the pardon power

by Walter Olson on December 23, 2013

I’ve got a new op-ed for Bloomberg View (first time I’ve appeared there) calling last week’s venture in presidential clemency “mingy and belated” and, if aimed at prison overcrowding, “like trying to bail out Lake Michigan with a paint can.” On Thursday President Obama commuted the sentences of eight inmates caught up in the crack cocaine sentencing fury, all of whom had already served at least 15 years for what were often relatively peripheral involvement in the drug trade. Clarence Aaron, for example, was serving three life sentences without possibility of parole for a first-time nonviolent offense. Many advocates from all political viewpoints pushed for Aaron’s release, among them Debra Saunders who wrote dozens of columns on his case in the San Francisco Chronicle over the past 12 years (Also in Minneapolis Star-Tribune and other papers, and AP roundup of opinion columns; & Scott Greenfield, Pardon Power).

{ 1 trackback }

"President Obama's Top Ten Constitutional Violations of 2013" - Overlawyered
12.24.13 at 12:30 am

{ 1 comment }

1 Hugo S Cunningham 12.24.13 at 7:50 pm

Maybe Obama use of the pardon power for victims of drug war hysteria was “mingy”, but I don’t recall H.W. Bush using it at all.

Comments on this entry are closed.