Last month, Pres. Barack Obama commuted 98 prison sentences in one day.
Although a third of these commutations have been for people serving life sentences, the average time served for all the prisoners is roughly16 years.
Obama has now passed the previous record holder – Woodrow Wilson – and has now commuted more sentences than any other president in US history.
The White House was quick to announce this with a recent tweet. That big blue line at the top is Barack Obama.
Nearly every Obama commutation involved “non-violent drug offenders.” Oscar Lopez Rivera is a non-violent believer in independence…so where is his commutation?
OBAMA HAS A LOT OF BREATHING ROOM
According to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, this high volume of executive clemency will continue through the end of his term…so quite possibly, Obama might free hundreds more prisoners.
According to criminal sentencing experts, Obama has a great degree of latitude in this area, for two main reasons:
Deputy Attorney General Yates affirmed this second point, stating that “when we keep people in prison for longer than is necessary for public-safety purposes, we are diverting precious resources away from that—away from prosecutors and agents, and critical prevention programs as well.”
Even the conservative Christian Science Monitor noted that: “This push is part of a larger trend in prison reform that has garnered support across the political spectrum as lawmakers take stock of the financial and societal costs of mass incarceration.”
Which leads to one great question…what about Oscar López Rivera?
FREE OSCAR LÓPEZ RIVERA
With all this breathing room and executive latitude, Obama should extend some of that “latitude” to Oscar López Rivera.
Nearly every Obama commutation involved “non-violent drug offenders.” Oscar López Rivera is a non-violent believer in independence…so where is his commutation?
Oscar was not convicted of any violent crimes, but rather of “seditious conspiracy against the United States.” While others were imprisoned for selling cocaine, Oscar was imprisoned for an idea.
Obama should have a double standard: where he beatifies Nelson Mandela as “liberator,” and belittles Oscar as a “terrorist.”
As Obama breaks all records for presidential mercy, there is still one great missing element…mercy for Oscar López Rivera.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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