President Obama Pardons 17 Felons

President Obama recently pardoned 17 people, all of whom were convicted felons. 12 of the individuals had not been sentenced to prison. Most of the crimes were small scale and were committed years ago.

Five of the pardoned individuals had been sentenced to jail time. The longest time spent in jail was five years.

None of the individuals were well-known. The crimes ranged from conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods, to the unauthorized acquisition of food stamps. Many of the individuals had received fines as well as jail sentences.

The Constitution gives the president clemency powers. This was the first time in his second term that President Obama used his clemency powers. During his first term in office he exercised clemency three times. That resulted in a total of 22 pardons and one commutation. A commutation is used to shorten an inmate’s prison term.

The people receiving pardons came from 13 states. Reasons why they were chosen were not offered by the White House.