President Obama pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentences of 153 others convicted of federal crimes , the most individual clemencies ever granted by a president in a single day.
Forty-nine of the individuals had been convicted of firearms offenses.For those who aren't aware of this: pardon and commutation authority for governors and presidents is because especially in previous centuries the legal systems were often not very good at properly handling appeals. Theoretically these are supposed to handle gross injustices, or people whose long-ago convictions have been followed by exemplary subsequent lives--not as pay for play by the President or a state governor. At least some of these pardons are of people where I can't disagree about the pardon:
PITTSBURGH (AP) — President Barack Obama pardoned a former Pittsburgh city councilman’s 46-year-old federal gun charge.
Seventy-three-year-old Sala Udin says he filed a formal request for clemency four years ago and had given up hope when he was surprised on Monday.
The civil rights advocate served seven months of a five-year sentence on charges of illegally transporting firearms and untaxed alcohol.
Udin was driving to Pittsburgh from Mississippi, a state he first visited as a Freedom Rider, when he was pulled over in Kentucky in 1970. The officer found an unloaded rifle and a jug of moonshine in Udin’s vehicle.I didn't even know this was a crime.
Some are very old crimes that might have involved people who have since lived reformed lives:
• Donald Lee Gilbert — Phoenix
Offense: Interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle (District of Maine)
Sentence: Two years’ probation (October 19, 1964)Some are mostly crimes against big corporations that are no longer in favor:
• Kenneth Shannon Meadows, a.k.a. Kenny Shannon Meadows — Celina, Tenn.
Offense: Manufacture, assemble, modify, sell and distribute electronic devices for the unauthorized decryption of direct-to-home satellite television services (Western District of Kentucky)
Sentence: Three years’ probation, conditioned upon six months’ home confinement; $36,424 restitution (August 25, 2003)
Theresa Marie Bishop, a.k.a. Teresa Clark — Pittsburgh
Offense: Knowingly disposing of a firearm to a person convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year (three counts); falsification of firearms purchase forms (two counts) (Western District of Pennsylvania)
Sentence: Three years’ probation, conditioned upon one year of home detention (December 8, 2006)
• Bryan Scot Sandquist — Gig Harbor, Wash.
Offense: Felon in possession of a firearm (District of Oregon)
Sentence: 40 months’ imprisonment; three years’ supervised release (November 4, 2002)