President Obama had already set a record for commutations before adding another 79 on Tuesday, bringing his total to 1,023 — more than granted by the previous 11 presidents combined.
Pres Obama grants another 79 commutations to non-violent drug offenders. Brings total to 1,023 – more than 11 previous presidents combined.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 22, 2016
Pres. Obama just lessened the sentences for another 79 federal drug offenders – for a total of over 1,000 commutations during his presidency pic.twitter.com/3PnNNoMs1I
— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 22, 2016
— ACLU National (@ACLU) November 22, 2016
Expect that number to rise even higher before January. A statement on the White House website confirms that President Obama is “committed to continuing to exercise the clemency power with additional grants of commutations and pardons throughout the remainder of his presidency.”
As has become a pattern with these announcements, the White House has emphasized that “the majority” of those granted clemency were sentenced for nonviolent drug crimes.
Not mentioned in the press release is that 16 of those granted commutations were “also” sentenced on firearms violations, including possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number and using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime — something worth remembering the next time progressives call for common sense gun control.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 22, 2016
@NBCNews The laws in effect at the time of the crime are the laws that should be followed. No early release because laws have changed.
— Kelly Salazer (@KellySalazer) November 22, 2016
But the president is intervening “to remedy the unfairness at the heart of the system” — although granting commutations in relatively small batches doesn’t seem to be the way to accomplish that at all. It apparently makes the president feel better, though.
— Don Reed (@4donreed) November 22, 2016
It’s not fair to say the president has no respect for law enforcement; he did hold that beer summit back in 2009, even after police officers acted stupidly under his watch.