Given Obama's disregard for enforcing laws he dislikes and his aggressive desire to transform the country and dismantle law enforcement, this development [much greater use of clemency than in recent decades] should put goose bumps on anyone concerned with the rule of law, aka, most Americans outside of public policy circles. If Obama is this alacritous to sign a get-out-of-jail free card with 18 months left to his presidency, it's clear that this is the tip of the iceberg.
Recently in Clemency Category
The 46 sentence reductions [Obama granted today] are the most presidential commutations in a single day since at least the administration of President Lyndon Johnson, according to the White House. Overall, Obama has commuted sentences of 89 people, surpassing the combined number of commutations granted by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
They represent a sliver of all those seeking clemency: Justice Department statistics show that roughly 2,100 commutation petitions have been received so far this fiscal year, and about 7,900 are pending.
White House counsel Neil Eggleston predicted the president would issue even more commutations before leaving office, but added that "clemency alone will not fix decades of overly punitive sentencing policies."
The president this week is devoting considerable attention to criminal justice. In addition to his speech Tuesday [to the NAACP Convention] in Philadelphia, he is to become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison when he goes to the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution outside of Oklahoma City on Thursday. He'll meet with both law enforcement officials and inmates.
Some might think that "overly punitive sentencing policies" had something to do with the dramatic drop in crime in the last quarter century, but that goes unmentioned in the story and unseen in the President's outlook.
We are compelled to conclude that, while Schwarzenegger's conduct could be seen as deserving of censure and grossly unjust, it was not illegal. Marsy's Law, despite its obviously expansive protection of victims' rights does not restrict the executive's clemency powers under California Constitution, article V, section 8, subdivision (a) or the clemency statutes, and we must affirm the judgment. Our holding is limited to subdivision (a) executive clemency and does not apply to the Governor's power under subdivision (b) of the same constitutional provision to reverse or modify a parole decision of the Board of Parole Hearings "on the basis of the same factors" the board is required to consider.
[I]t could represent the crest of a new wave of commutations that could come in Obama's last two years in office. Last year, the Justice Department announced a new clemency initiative to try to encourage more low-level drug offenders to apply to have their sentences reduced. That resulted in a record 6,561 applications in the last fiscal year...
Obama wrote each of the 22 Tuesday, saying they had demonstrated the potential to turn their lives around...."Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity. It will not be easy, and you will encounter many who doubt people with criminal records can change," Obama wrote. "I believe in your ability to prove the doubters wrong."
Question: Did Obama ever write a warm, personal note to the soldiers who risked life and limb trying to recover Bowe Bergdahl?
In recent days, the Administration has justified releasing five top terrorist commanders to return to the battlefield (after a fig-leaf stopover in Qatar) on the grounds that Bergdahl was still an American soldier, and America does not leave its people behind. The President's supporters tell us that, if Bergdahl deserted -- or even became a collaborator -- we have the military justice system that will, at the right time, fully investigate the matter, put the facts on the table, and, if warranted, impose punishment.Ladies and gentlemen, it's not gonna happen. There isn't going to be any honest investigation, and there isn't going to be any punishment. The President is going to issue a preemptive pardon to make sure the process never gets off the ground.
Nearly all of the exceptional elements of Obamaism are present. The president appeases a deadly enemy (recall his statement that he hopes through the exchange to gain the trust of the Taliban); makes life more dangerous for an ally we are about to abandon (Afghanistan will bear the brunt of the terrorism unleashed by the five Taliban commanders); and disregards American law (which required him to consult with Congress). Moreover, he does all of this on behalf of an anti-American deserter and his jihadist-sympathizing father.
You couldn't make this up.
At the end of the piece, Paul quotes me asking what more Obama can do to damage the country. Of course I don't know exactly, but there are those thousands of heroin pushers yet to get their promised clemency....