President Obama Pardons 46
President Obama Pardons 46 .
In mid-July, 2015, President Obama made headlines by commuting the sentences of 46 federal offenders. While I am not familiar with all of the crimes or parties involved, I know these 46 were part of a group of almost 30,000 people who have sought the remedy of executive clemency.
Many of these offenders are serving 20+ year sentences imposed during the “War on Drugs” and were sentenced in the 1990s. While the war may have been aimed at drug kingpins, many low-level drug dealer/users were caught. After all, they are easier to catch, more desperate, not as smart, more likely to sell to an informant or officer. If those same parties were sentenced under today’s evidence-based guidelines, their sentences would be months or possibly a few years, but not 20 years or life in prison. Some of them may even be eligible for drug programs.
Is it merely a more enlightened way of looking at drug offenses that has resulted in the spotlight being placed on these casualties of the War on Drugs? Or is it the fact that the United State does not have an infinite amount of money, and has the largest prison population in the world?