President Barack Obama has proven to be a stern believer in the idea of second chances in life. This even includes a lucky few convicted felons that he elects to offer clemency – reduced to time served.
Last week, he followed through with that promise by granting 42 men and women clemency, bringing his total number of people he’s offered this privilege to 348. This is a record and more than the past seven presidents combined, according to a statement from the White House.
“The individuals receiving a presidential commutation today have more than repaid their debt to society and earned this second chance,” said the statement.
“As the President has said, part of [offering deserving individuals a second chance] includes lifting up the stories of the men and women who have been granted clemency and are now making the most of their second chances,” it continued.
Barack Obama is clearly the most serious president the United States has had in regards to focusing on the prison system’s goals to rehabilitate rather than treating them like a place to lock away the people many wish to ignore.
With more attention building around Leonard Peltier‘s case, who knows if he’ll be considered for the clemency he’s requested for decades now. With Obama’s term coming to a close, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him walk away with some major power moves in play.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Kamm