According to USA Today, these commutations, unlike those before, allow stipulations and release dates into the period after he has left office. The pace of his interventions on behalf of his soul brothers has increased, with 590 commuted just this year. He has commuted 774 sentences altogether. That is more than the last eleven presidents combined. [ President Obama Grants Commutations, October 6, 2016]
For all the bias in sentencing talk, as far as this President is concerned, it’s really just about his fellow blacks. Of the total 102, only 11 Hispanics got a break. Only 3 women got a break. Two were Hispanic and one White. No Asian or American Indian was found worthy of a that famous “Second chance.”
Speaking of second chances, three of those whose sentences were commuted previously violated parole and tried to import drugs as they had before. So, what is the criteria being applied here?
Fifteen of the inmates were also convicted of firearms offenses. This makes a joke of the propaganda about “non-violent offenders.” This administration finds possession of firearms alarming in the general public, but not so much among drug felons it seems.
An additional oddity was the stipulation that most of these inmates “Enroll in drug treatment programs.” Umm, shouldn’t this read, “successfully complete drug treatment programs?” Notice the tacit admission that drugs are freely available in Federal prisons so they will need to be dried out on release.
We can expect more of these as Obama’s clock winds down. And of course, there is his absolute power to pardon on the way out the door. Don’t expect him to miss his chance.