Obama hands down several high profile clemencies, pardons

AP News
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Posted: Jan 18, 2017 3:42 AM
Obama hands down several high profile clemencies, pardons

The Obama administration on Tuesday shortened the prison sentences of 209 people and granted pardons to another 64.

High-profile names on the list include Army leaker Chelsea Manning and the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Gen. James Cartwright. The majority of commutations focused on nonviolent drug offenders.

Some of the notable individuals on the list:

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CHELSEA MANNING

Manning is more than six years into a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Her sentence is now set to expire May 17.

She was known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest and she attempted suicide twice last year.

Her sentence was shortened.

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RETIRED GEN. JAMES CARTWRIGHT

The former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff pleaded guilty in October to making false statements during an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities. His plea ended a Justice Department investigation into a leak regarding a computer virus called Stuxnet that disabled equipment the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

Cartwright, 67, falsely told investigators that he did not provide or confirm classified information contained in a news article and in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger, according to charging documents unsealed by prosecutors.

He was pardoned.

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OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA

The Puerto Rican nationalist was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the struggle for independence for the U.S. island territory. Puerto Ricans have long called for Lopez's release, a move that has been opposed by a national police organization, among others.

Lopez belonged to the ultranationalist Armed Forces of National Liberation. The group has claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings at public and commercial buildings in U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Washington, during the 1970s and '80s.

Obama commuted the sentence of the 74-year-old.

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ARBOLEDA A. ORTIZ

In a Missouri court in 2000 he was sentenced to die for his role in a murder and in drug trafficking. He maintained that officers who questioned him never told him he had a right to an attorney or a right to remain silent. His attorneys said he never learned to read or write in any language.

Obama commuted the death penalty punishment to life imprisonment. Anti-death penalty advocates hailed the decision, saying he was intellectually disabled and his execution would therefore have been unconstitutional.

Bureau of Prisons records show Ortiz has been serving his sentence at a high-security penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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WILLIE McCOVEY

The San Francisco Giants Hall of Famer was sentenced in June 1996 to two years of probation for evading taxes on baseball memorabilia. McCovey admitted at the time he failed to declare $41,800 in income in 1989, when he made $87,000, and $69,800 in baseball memorabilia income received between 1988 and 1990.

McCovey was pardoned.

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IAN SCHRAGER

A co-owner of the New York City nightclub Studio 54, he was convicted of tax evasion. After serving time in a jail, Schrager became a well-known hotelier.

Obama pardoned Schrager.