Free At Last: Obama Sets Record For Most Clemencies In Single Day

In case you had forgotten how much you’re going to miss Obama, he gave us all a big reminder today. President Obama has now officially set the world record for most clemencies granted in one day by a US President, with a record-breaking 153 people being either pardoned or having their sentences commuted.

What’s interesting about this, though, is not only did he beat his old record but he beat it by a long shot with his previous record being just 98. This brings President Obama’s total number of sentence commutations up to 1,176, including 395 sentences and 148 people that he has pardoned thus far.


He has commuted more sentences than the past 11 Presidents combined and it seems he’s not done yet. White House counsel Neil Eggleston wrote that he expects President Obama to approve more commutations pardons before he leaves office. “The mercy that the President has shown his 1,324 clemency recipients is remarkable” Eggleston wrote.

“But we must remember that clemency is a tool of last resort and that only Congress can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure over the long run that our criminal justice system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety.” Despite these record-breaking numbers, he still hasn’t met his 2014 pledge to commute 10,000 sentences.

For those unfamiliar with the terms, commuting a sentence is when a prison sentence is shortened and a pardon is when a person is totally absolved of their crimes. He hasn’t made it clear whether or not he’s still committed to that pledge, but given today’s numbers, it seems he’s definitely on his way to meeting that goal.

But don’t get used to this, though. If Trump gets into the oval office, he’ll probably set a new world record for sending the most people to the electric chair in one day but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.


You can find more information about the clemency here.