Will Barack Obama go down in history as our least merciful president? With less than two weeks to go in his first term, this reputedly progressive and enlightened man has a strong shot at winning that dubious distinction.
If there is one virtue voters had every reason to expect from Barack Obama, it is a strong sense of social justice. Yet somehow the one-time community organizer has dropped that ball when it comes to the exercise of his constitutional power to pardon individuals who have committed federal offenses.
Obama upheld the White House tradition of pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving.
President Bill Clinton used his presidential pardon power in July 2000 to commute the sentence of Serena Nunn, who was sentenced to 15 years for a first-time nonviolent drug offense when she was 19.
As a candidate for president in 2008, Barack Obama pledged to "immediately" review federal mandatory minimum sentences "to see where we can be smarter on crime and reduce the ineffective warehousing of nonviolent drug offenders."
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