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

After completing this action, you will receive periodic updates on articles, events and actions from The Nation magazine. You may unsubscribe at any time.

1-25 of 3247 signatures
Number Date Name Location
3247 3 weeks ago sarah arnold Brooklyn, NY
3246 1 month ago Mark Sangerman Seattle, WA Stop mandatory minimums and long term solitary confinement. We should no longer be the country that imprisons more people than any other country on Earth.
3245 2 months ago Margaret Lang New Orleans, LA Stop the injustice, racism, madness! Why is congressman Raydel(?) a free man? The height of hypocrisy and injustice. What a lie that everyone has the same opportunities in America!
3244 2 months ago Inez Andrews West Palm Beach, FL
3243 2 months ago Donna Dallas TX Prison shouldn't be a "for profit" business! Men and Women should not be serving prison time for non-violent crimes!
3242 2 months ago cal lash glendale, AZ
3241 3 months ago Mark Webb Kenai, AK The current system of drug laws for victimless crimes is an abomination on civil society.
3240 3 months ago Anonymous
3239 3 months ago Philip Hutchison Albany, OH
3238 3 months ago Debby Kleinberg Yorktown Heights, NY
3237 3 months ago Mary Chapn Easthampton, MA Please use your power of pardon. It is a disgrace to live in the country with the highest incarceration rate! I am for liberty and I don't want my tax dollars going to prisons
3236 3 months ago Brandy Yates Christensen Magna, UT
3235 3 months ago Deborah Lyons Oxford, OH
3234 3 months ago Robert Funke Roslindale, MA
3233 3 months ago Marilyn Hacker New York, NY
3232 3 months ago Sherrylee Felger Port Orford, OR Call me cynical, but someone needs to tell the President that incarceration is not a conscionable jobs program!
3231 3 months ago Ron Strand Vancouver, BC
3230 3 months ago Savannah H NY, NY
3229 3 months ago John Caudill Valparaiso, IN
3228 3 months ago sanford abrams albuquerque, NM
3227 3 months ago Suzanne Gorenfeld Novato, CA The non-violent crime sentences have fed a vile private prison business which is comparable to human trafficking. The distinction between profiteering and government has been obliterated.
3226 4 months ago Rose Cnudde Durham, NC Most people should not be jailed for non-violent crimes, some should perform community service, some may have to pay restitution. And we should most certainly not have private prisons, private for...
3225 4 months ago Mercy Grieco Fresno, AL
3224 4 months ago Vincent Jennings NYC, NY
3223 4 months ago Anonymous
Next ->