President Obama: Pardon Prisoners and Commute Unjust Sentences

President Obama: Pardon Prisoners and Commute Unjust Sentences

While the Obama administration has fallen short on many of the actual policy changes needed to end the "war on drugs," there's one tool at the administrative's disposal that could have a sweeping and immediate impact on our criminal justice system: the pardon power. Although Attorney General Eric Holder has called on federal prosecutors to avoid mandatory minimums, which require automatic sentences for certain crimes and take away judges' power to consider individual circumstances, prosecutors continue to pursue them and offenders continue to serve decades-long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes. 

On their website, the organization Families Against Mandatory Minimums highlights some of the most striking cases: There's Weldon Angelos, serving fifty-five years for selling marijuana while possessing a fire arm—a sentence the judge on the case called "unjust, cruel and even irrational." There's also Stephanie George, a mother of three serving life in prison without parole for being "a girlfriend and bag holder and money holder" in a drug conspiracy.

The public is clearly not served by locking up offenders who pose no danger, separating them from their families and taking away their ability to work or otherwise contribute to society. Join The Nation in calling on President Obama to pardon or commute the sentences of federal prisoners serving excessive sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.

Prison hand
Reuters/Joshua Lott

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1-25 of 4922 signatures
Number Date Name Location
4922 2 days ago Hamid Assian
4921 7 days ago claudia park
4920 1 week ago Loree Mezzanatto CA
4919 1 week ago Jeremy Brosnan Henderson, NV Failed to close Gitmo, How about not failing at this? its within his power!
4918 1 week ago Stephen Caldwell Cedar Crest, NM
4917 1 week ago Peter Appel New York, NY "Because we must"
4916 1 week ago Mark Webb Kenai, AK Non-violent crimes for drug possession have no victim and are used to target minorities. People should never go to jail for simply possessing a drug.
4915 1 week ago Timothy Melgard Milwaukee, WI Our prisons are overpopulated. We need to figure out a different way to deal with addiction. We could be spending this money on improving communities in great need of funding.
4914 1 week ago Deborah Rothschild Williamstown, MA
4913 1 week ago Chris magda lehigh, FL
4912 1 week ago Carolyn D Jackson Philadelphia, PA
4911 1 week ago Christiane Fitzgerald Salem, OR
4910 1 week ago Rob Bagley Phoenix, AZ
4909 1 week ago Anne Veenstra Silver City, NM This is extremely important to the general welfare of all our citizens! We have too many prisons and too many prisoners guilty of non-violent crimes!
4908 1 week ago Jenny Belgarde Chimacum, WA
4907 1 week ago Shirley pringle Cutler Bay, FL
4906 1 week ago Lisa Oliver Madison, WI
4905 1 week ago Isaiah Johnson Fayetteville, GA
4904 1 week ago Diana Richardson Portlanf, OR
4903 1 week ago Anonymous East Setauket, NY
4902 1 week ago Anonymous East Setauket, NY
4901 1 week ago Susan Hewitt Stoneham, MA
4900 1 week ago Margaret Gallegos Santa Monica, CA
4899 1 week ago Dr. Russell Wood Petoskey, MI
4898 1 week ago Charles Lynch Shorewood, IL
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