Obama Plans Clemency for “Hundreds, Perhaps Thousands” of People Sentenced for Drug Law Violations

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Anthony Papa 646-420-7290
Drug Policy Alliance

Follows on Footsteps of White House’s Recent Call For Clemency Candidates
Drug Policy Alliance: Positive Step, But Comprehensive Sentencing Reform Is Needed to Prevent More Mass Injustice

A White House official told Yahoo that President Obama is prepared to use his pardon power to grant clemency to “hundreds, perhaps thousands” of people who have been jailed for nonviolent drug crimes. The report said that the administration is making moves that will help it handle the increase in petitions that Mr. Obama is planning to sign off on before he leaves office. Last Tuesday, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said Obama has directed the Justice Department to improve its clemency recommendation process and recruit more applications from people behind bars for drug law violations..

The White House’s new moves would follow in the footsteps of a Januaryannouncement that the Obama administration would taking the unprecedented step of encouraging defense lawyers to suggest inmates whom the president might let out of prison early, as part of its effort to curtail severe penalties in low-level drug cases.

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