Offer a chance at presidential mercy, and inmates will line up.
That’s what the federal government found out last month when more than 18,000 prisoners filled out electronic surveys to apply for reduced sentences from President Barack Obama in a new program designed to clear federal prisons of nonviolent offenders, Yahoo News has learned.
Federal prisoners are always able to petition the president to have their sentences commuted. But in April, the Justice Department announced a sweeping new initiative that actively solicits these petitions from inmates who have served more than 10 years for a nonviolent crime; most of the crimes are drug-related. The program is intended to give a break to prisoners who were sentenced under now-defunct draconian drug laws that locked up people for decades for nonviolent crimes.
The response to the president’s clemency program is staggering. Before this program, about 18,000 federal prisoners had applied for commutations over the previous 12 yearsRead More »from Thousands of prisoners apply for Obama’s drug-clemency program