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.
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."
After Richard Nixon lost the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy and the California governor's race two years later (when he uttered the immortal line to the media, "You don't have Nixon to kick around anymore") the former vice president knew he must reinvent himself to run for president again in 1968.
Calling America's criminal justice system "racist" is not confined to "civil rights leaders" like the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Then-Sen. Barack Obama, during the 2008 presidential campaign, said it, too. Blacks and whites, said Obama, "are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates (and) receive very different sentences ... for the same crime."
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