Any drug offender left in a prison cell after President Obama turns over his office keys next January will be sentenced to a life of head scratching. The president can only sign commutations so quickly, so there’s no way he can keep up his frantic golf schedule and free everyone in the months remaining in his term.
He’s doing his best, though, and today the president commuted the sentences of 58 more federal inmates as part of his clemency initiative, bringing his total to 306.
Speeding up his acts of clemency, Obama commutes the sentences of 58 more convicts.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) May 5, 2016
Obama commutes sentences of 58 drug inmates in bid to build momentum of clemency drive https://t.co/f8I801rrgU
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) May 5, 2016
Obama abuses office to release 58 major drug dealers — commutes more than prior 6 presidents combined, he boasts! https://t.co/KdVGbirUJF
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) May 5, 2016
Obama overrides dozens of judges and juries, commutes the federal prison sentences of 58 more drug dealers. #PrisonReform
— Andrew Malcolm (@AHMalcolm) May 5, 2016
How many of these nonviolent drug offenders pleaded down from more serious charges? That information isn’t being publicized today, probably to avoid contributing to an already suspicious nation’s perception that there’s a connection between drug dealers and illegal firearms.
The ACLU tweeted its thanks to President Obama for releasing more prisoners of America’s drug war — a war many progressives blame Hillary Clinton’s “secret weapon” for escalating in the ’90s and contributing to the racial disparity in the country’s prison population.
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 5, 2016
While the president is doing right by drug offenders, he’s also juggling holding their hands as they reintegrate into society (highlighted by April’s National Reentry Week and the establishment of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council) …
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) April 29, 2016
… and allocating more than a billion dollars to the fight against America’s prescription opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic. In short, heroin and prescription painkillers bad, marijuana good — the president even joked about his own pot use at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Obama on his rising poll numbers: the last time I was this high I was trying to decide on my college major. #WHCD
— Rick Newman (@rickjnewman) May 1, 2016
While the White House website includes profiles of three success stories from previous rounds of commutations, the Washington Post among other news outlets has the list of Thursday’s lottery winners. A quick scan shows that these aren’t members of Obama’s famous “Choom Gang” — many were serving time for distribution of cocaine base (i.e., crack), and we even have three heroin dealers represented.
More than 9,000 petitions are pending, reports the Washington Post.