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By the end of his presidency on January 20, 2017, "Barack Obama had exercised his "constitutional power to grant executive clemency—that is, ""pardon, "commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, and reprieve"[1]—to 1,927 individuals convicted of "federal crimes. Of the acts of clemency, 1,715 were commutations (including 504 "life sentences) and 212 were pardons.[2] Most individuals granted executive clemency by Obama had been convicted on drug charges,[3] and had received lengthy and sometimes "mandatory sentences at the height of the "War on Drugs.[4]

Obama holds the record for the largest single-day use of the clemency power, granting 330 commutations on January 19, 2017, his last full day in office.[5][6] He also has issued more commutations than the past thirteen presidents combined.[2][7]

Contents

Constitutional provision[edit]

The pardon powers of the President are outlined in "Article Two of the United States Constitution (Section 2, Clause 1), which provides:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Definitions[edit]

Pardons and commutations[edit]

This is a partial "list of people pardoned or granted clemency by a United States president, ordered by date of pardon or commutation. For an updated list, see U.S. Department of Justice.[10]

Pardons[edit]

December 3, 2010[edit]

Name Court or Home City Sentencing Date Sentence Offense
James Bernard Banks "United States District Court for the District of Utah 1972 2 years probation Illegal possession of government property
Russell James Dixon "United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia 1960 2 years probation Liquor law violation
Laurens Dorsey "United States District Court for the District of New Jersey 1998 5 years probation; $71,000 restitution Conspiracy to defraud by making false statements to the "Food and Drug Administration
Ronald Lee Foster "United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina 1963 Probation; $20 fine Mutilation of coins
Timothy James Gallagher "United States District Court for the District of Arizona 1982 3 years probation "Cocaine possession and conspiracy to distribute
Roxane Kay Hettinger "United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa 1986 30 days in jail; 3 years probation Conspiracy to distribute cocaine
Edgar Leopold Kranz Jr. General "court-martial convened at "Hickam Air Force Base 1994 24 months confinement; reduction in pay Cocaine use, "adultery and "bouncing checks
Floretta Leavy "United States District Court for the District of Kansas 1984 366 days in prison; 3 years probation Drug offenses
Scoey Lathaniel Morris "United States District Court for the Western District of Texas 1991 3 years probation; $1,200 fine Counterfeiting offense.

May 20, 2011[edit]

Name Court or Home City Sentencing Date Sentence Offense
Randy Eugene Dyer "United States District Court for the Western District of Washington 1975 5 years in prison Conspiracy to import "marijuana ("hashish), conspiracy to remove baggage from the custody and control of the U.S. Customs Service and convey false information concerning an attempt to damage a civil aircraft
Danny Alonzo Levitz "United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana 1980 2 years of probation, $400 fine Conspiracy
Michael Ray Neal "United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia 1991 6 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release conditioned on 6 months of home confinement, $2,500 fine Manufacture, assembly, modification and distribution of equipment for unauthorized decryption of satellite cable programming
Edwin Alan North United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana 1980 6 months of unsupervised probation Transfer of a firearm without payment of transfer tax
Allen Edward Peratt "United States District Court for the District of South Dakota 1990 30 months in prison, 5 years of supervised release Conspiracy to distribute "methamphetamine
Christine Marie Rossiter "United States District Court for the District of Nebraska 1992 3 years of probation conditioned on performance of 500 hours of community service Conspiracy to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana
Patricia Ann Weinzatl "United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin 2001 3 years of probation, $5,000 fine Structuring transactions to evade "reporting requirements
Bobby Gerald Wilson "United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia 1985 3½ months in prison, 5 years of probation conditioned on performance of 300 hours of community service, $400 fine Aiding and abetting the possession and sale of illegal "American alligator hides ("Lacey Act)

November 21, 2011[edit]

Name Court or Home City Sentencing Date Sentence Offense
Lesley Claywood Berry Jr. "United States District Court for the District of Minnesota 1988 3 years in prison Conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute marijuana
Bobby Jackson "United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama 1987 5 years probation and $20,000 fine Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 1,000 pounds of marijuana
Ricky Dale Collett "United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky 2002 1 year of probation conditioned on 60 days of home detention Aiding and abetting in the manufacture of 61 marijuana plants
Martin Kaprelian "United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois 1984 9 years in prison, 5 years of probation Conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce, transporting stolen property, concealing stolen property
Thomas Paul Ledford "United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee 1995 1 year of probation conditioned on performance of 100 hours of community service Conducting and directing an illegal gambling business

March 1, 2013[edit]

Name Court or Home City Sentencing Date Sentence Offense
Robert Leroy Bebee "Rockville, Maryland 1979 Two years probation Misprision (concealment) of a felony
James Anthony Bordinaro "Gloucester, Massachusetts 1991 12 months imprisonment, three years supervised release and a $55,000 fine Conspiracy to restrain, suppress, and eliminate competition in violation of the Sherman Act; conspiracy to submit false statements
Kelli Elisabeth Collins "Harrison, Arkansas 1994 Five years probation Aiding and abetting a wire fraud
Edwin Hardy Futch, Jr. "Pembroke, Georgia 1976 Five years probation, $2,399.72 restitution Theft from an interstate shipment
Cindy Marie Griffith "Moyock, North Carolina 2000 Two years probation with 100 hours of community service Distribution of satellite cable television decryption devices
Roy Eugene Grimes, Sr. "Athens, Tennessee 1961 18 months probation Falsely altering a United States postal money order, uttering, and publishing a forged and altered money order with intent to defraud
Jon Christopher Kozeliski "Decatur, Illinois 1994 One year of probation with six months of home confinement, $10,000 fine Conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods
Jimmy Ray Mattison "Anderson, South Carolina 1969 Three years probation Conspiracy to transport and cause the transportation of altered securities in interstate commerce,; transporting and causing the transportation of altered securities in interstate commerce
An Na Peng "Honolulu, Hawaii 1996 Two years probation, $2,000 fine Conspiracy to defraud the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Michael John Petri "Montrose, South Dakota 1989 Five years imprisonment, three years supervised release Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance (cocaine)
Karen Alicia Ragee "Decatur, Illinois 1994 One year of probation with six months of home confinement, $2,500 fine Conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods
Jamari Salleh "Alexandria, Virginia 1989 Four years probation, $5,000 fine, $5,900 restitution False claims upon and against the United States
Alfor Sharkey "Omaha, Nebraska 1994 Three years probation with 100 hours of community service, $2,750 restitution Unauthorized acquisition of food stamps
Donald Barrie Simon, Jr. "Chattanooga, Tennessee 1982 Two years imprisonment, three years probation Aiding and abetting in the theft of an interstate shipment
Lynn Marie Stanek "Tualatin, Oregon 1986 Six months in jail, five years probation conditioned on residence in a community treatment center for a period not to exceed one year Unlawful use of a communication facility to distribute cocaine
Larry Wayne Thornton "Forsyth, Georgia 1974 Four years probation Possession of an unregistered firearm; possession of a firearm without a serial number
Donna Kaye Wright "Friendship, Tennessee 1983 54 days imprisonment, three years probation conditioned on performance of six hours of community service per week Embezzlement and misapplication of bank funds

December 19, 2013[edit]

Name Court or Home City Sentencing Date Sentence Offense
William Ricardo Alvarez "Marietta, Georgia District of Puerto Rico 1979 Time served after nine months' imprisonment, four years' supervised release (April 30, 1997; amended July 31, 1997) Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin; conspiracy to import heroin
Charlie Lee Davis, Jr. "Wetumpka, Alabama Middle District of Alabama 1995 87 months' imprisonment, five years' supervised release (March 21, 1995) Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; use of a minor to distribute cocaine base
Ronald Eugene Greenwood "Crane, Missouri District of South Dakota 1996 Three years' probation, conditioned on six months' home confinement, 100 hours community service, $5,000 restitution, $1,000 fine (November 18, 1996) Conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act
Little Joe Hatch, aka Joe Hatch Sr. "Lake Placid, Florida Southern District of Florida 1990 60 months' imprisonment, four years' supervised release (May 15, 1990) Possession with intent to distribute marijuana
Martin Alan Hatcher Foley, Alabama, Southern District Of Alabama 1992 5 years probation Distribution and possession with intent to distribute marijuana[11]
Derek James Laliberte District of Maine (October 2, 1992; amended May 21, 1993). 18 months' imprisonment, 2 years' supervised release Money Laundering[12]
Alfred J. Mack District of Columbia Superior Court (April 5, 1982) 18 to 54 months' imprisonment Unlawful distribution of heroin[12]
Robert Andrew Schindler District of Utah (May 14, 1996). Three years' probation, four months' home confinement, $10,000 restitution Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud[12]
Willie Shaw, Jr. District of South Carolina (August 7, 1974) Fifteen years' imprisonment Armed bank robbery
Kimberly Lynn Stout, formerly known as Kimberly Lynn Cooley Western District of Virginia (November 9, 1993) One day imprisonment, three years' supervised release (including five months home confinement) Bank embezzlement, Fraud[12]
Bernard Anthony Sutton, Jr. Eastern District of Virginia (April 4, 1989) Three years' probation, $825 restitution, $500 fine Theft of personal property[12]
Chris Deann Switzer District of Nebraska (June 25, 1996) Four years' probation, conditioned on six months home confinement, 200 hours' community service Conspiracy to violate narcotics laws (methamphetamine)[12]
Miles Thomas Wilson "Williamsburg, Ohio Southern District of Ohio 1981 Three years' probation (July 15, 1981) Mail fraud

Commutations[edit]

November 21, 2011[edit]

Name Court Sentenced Sentence Offense Terms of
commutation
Eugenia Marie Jennings "United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois 2001 262 months (21 years, 10 months) in prison, 8 years of supervised release, $1,750 fine Distribution of cocaine base Sentence expired on December 21, 2011, leaving intact and in effect the eight-year term of supervised release with all its conditions and all other components of the sentence.
Mark Anthony Jones "United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida 1999 Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release Distribution of cocaine base Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015, leaving intact and in effect the 10-year term of supervised release with all its conditions and all other components of the sentence.
Rory Larry Lee "United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida 1990 Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (enhanced penalty), distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base (two counts) N/A.

December 19, 2013

Name Court Sentenced Sentence Offense Terms of Commutation
Clarence Aaron "United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama December 10, 1993 Life imprisonment; 5 years' supervised release Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, attempt to possess cocaine with intent to distribute (erroneously listed in the judgment as conspiracy to distribute cocaine) Sentence of imprisonment to expire on April 17, 2014, leaving intact and in effect the five-year term of supervised release with all its conditions and all other components of the sentence

On July 13, 2015, Obama announced he would be commuting the sentences of 46 drug offenders.[13]

June 3, 2016[edit]

On June 6, 2016, Obama announced he would be commuting the sentences of 42 offenders. [14]

Name Court Sentencing Date Time served Offense Terms of
commutation
Eric E. Alvarez "Eastern District of North Carolina 2000 360 months (30 years) in prison, 5 years of supervised release Distribution of cocaine and cocaine base Sentence expired on October 1, 2016, leaving intact and in effect the five-year term of supervised release with all its conditions and all other components of the sentence.
Dale Baldwin Middle District of Florida 1995 Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base Prison sentence commuted to expire on October 1, 2016, leaving intact and in effect the 10-year term of supervised release with all its conditions and all other components of the sentence.

December 20, 2016[edit]

Obama granted 78 commutations on this day.[3]

January 17, 2017[edit]

On January 17, 2017, Obama commuted the sentence of 209 individuals (109 of whom faced "life sentences).[2] These included "Chelsea Manning and "Oscar López Rivera, enabling them to be released from prison on May 17, 2017. Manning's sentence initially ran through the year 2045. Obama also pardoned "James Cartwright, who was awaiting sentencing for giving false statements to federal investigators.[15][16]

January 19, 2017[edit]

Obama commuted the prison sentences of 330 federal inmates, particularly drug offenders, on Thursday, January 19, 2017, his last full day in office. Obama did so, as one of his final acts in office, in order to reduce what he viewed as overly harsh punishments.[17]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. As he finishes his second year in office, Obama pardons nine people
  2. "President Obama Grants Nine Pardons". whitehouse.gov. December 3, 2010. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Office of the Pardon Attorney". United States Department of Justice. 
  2. ^ a b c Neil Eggelston, [1], White House (January 2017).
  3. ^ a b Allie Malloy, [2], CNN (December 2016).
  4. ^ Matt Apuzzo, After Obama Push for Clemency, Hints of Reversal Likely to Come, New York Times (November 22, 2016).
  5. ^ "Obama grants 330 more commutations, bringing total to a record 1,715". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  6. ^ "Obama grants final 330 commutations to nonviolent drug offenders". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  7. ^ Obama commutes prison sentences for 330 before leaving office
  8. ^ "Ex Parte Garland". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2017-02-06. The power thus conferred is unlimited, with the exception stated. It extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency or after conviction and judgment. 
  9. ^ a b c "USDOJ: Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Executive Clemency". USDOJ. 
  10. ^ "Pardons Granted by President Barack Obama (2009-2017) | PARDON | Department of Justice". www.justice.gov. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "President Obama Grants Pardons and commutations". www.whitehouse.gov. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f "An Obama rarity: 13 pardons". Usatoday.com. December 20, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  13. ^ Liptak, Kevin (July 13, 2015). "President Barack Obama commutes sentences of 46 drug offenders". CNN. Retrieved April 3, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Utah man whose long drug sentence stirred controversy is released". Washington Post. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  15. ^ Savage, Charlie (January 17, 2017). "Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning's Sentence". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Barack Obama conmuta sentencia de Oscar López". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  17. ^ Obama commutes prison sentences for 330 before leaving office

External links[edit]

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