Obama Grants 79 More Commutations To Federal Inmates, Pushing The Total Past 1,000


President Barack Obama granted commutations to another 79 federal drug offenders Tuesday, pushing the number of inmates he has granted clemency to past 1,000.

Obama’s historic number of commutations was announced as administration officials are moving quickly to rule on all the pending clemency applications from inmates before the end of the president’s term. The Trump administration is not expected to keep in place Obama’s initiative to provide relief to non-violent drug offenders.

“The President’s gracious act of mercy today with his latest round of commutations is encouraging,” said Brittany Byrd, a Texas attorney who has represented several inmates who have received clemency since Obama’s initiative began in 2014. “He is taking historic steps under his groundbreaking clemency initiative to show the power of mercy and belief in redemption. Three hundred and forty two men and women were set to die in prison. The President literally saved their lives.”

The White House and the Justice Department were criticized by sentencing reform advocates earlier this year for moving too slowly in granting commutations to inmates serving harsh sentences who met the criteria for clemency. The administration has greatly picked up the pace, but advocates still want them to move faster before time runs out.

“At the risk of sounding ungrateful, we say, “thanks, but please hurry,” said Kevin Ring, vice president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “We know there are thousands more who received outdated and excessive mandatory sentences and we think they all deserve to have their petitions considered before the president leaves office. Petitioners are starting to get anxious because they know the president is, in prison parlance, a short-timer.”

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday that the Justice Dept will continue to recommend more commutations through the end of the Obama administration.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Sari Horwitz



  1. Yes, I agree with President Obama. Reb S.M. Rubashkin definitely poses a greater danger to the American public than all 1000 criminals he let out on the streets. No Orthodox Jew should be allowed to be pardoned. Certainly not from our first black President.

    • Perhaps if we admit to Hashem that we accept his wake-up call for teshuva & get together as one nation with achdus then he will be freed releiving us of the need to keep of being reminded of tragedies that occur daily cause we are living in DENIAL & are unable to FACE REALITY when a problem comes up.

      may we all finally wake up & become one loving nation together again very soon

  2. We all agree, but it is crucial that the issue is presented and properly explained to President Obama, as well as to future President Trump.

  3. By the time this obummer leaves office he probably would have pardoned another thousand or two. He gotta get all his family outa there before he goes!

  4. If these people are true felons they will be back in jail within a few months, especially those on drugs, and theft, it is only sad that there will be many people hurt until these are back in jail again.

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