The Champion

March 2017 , Page 11 

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Inside NACDL: The Forgotten Souls

By Norman L. Reimer

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President Barack Obama’s clemency program was historic. The cover story of the December 2016 edition of The Champion reflected on the project, from a perspective with several weeks to go in the president’s term.1 The initiative concluded with a flurry of commutations, including several hundred in the administration’s final week. But the work was incomplete when the clock struck noon on January 20. Hundreds of worthy petitioners, including the entire class of noncitizen applicants, did not have their sentences commuted. Ironically, the current president, who has expressed an appetite to deport noncitizens, can fix that.

The president reduced the sentences of 1,715 nonviolent prisoners who had outstanding institutional behavior and were serving extremely long prison sentences. And 894 of those applicants were supported by Clemency Project 2014, perhaps the largest pro bono effort ever undertaken by the legal community. Those 894 commutations were far less than the nearly

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