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The pardon power is one of the strongest presidential powers in our constitution. The president alone has the ability to pardon or commute the sentence of any person convicted of a federal offense. (For those convicted of a state offense, usually it’s the governor who has that power.) But despite the fact that we imprison more people than ever, over the last few decades, presidents have been increasingly less likely to pardon people or commute sentences. On this episode, Clint and Josie discuss pardons and commutations, including some of the bizarre and fascinating decisions of presidents past. They also talk to clemency expert and NYU Law Professor Rachel Barkow about where Obama failed on this issue and the potential for a restructured process.

 

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