News Release

President Obama Caps Final Full Day in Office with 330 More Commutations

Washington, DC (Jan. 19, 2017) – On his last full day in office, President Obama today announced 330 grants of commutation. This is the largest single set of commutation grants of his tenure as president. Of today's 330 grants, 189 were in cases supported by Clemency Project 2014. The total number of commutations granted by President Obama is 1,715, of which 894 were supported by Clemency Project 2014.

"We are grateful to President Obama for the historically large number of grants in a single round and in total," said Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014. "Our gratitude for all he has done to prove that we are a nation of second chances is eclipsed only by that of clemency recipients and their families."

Clemency Project 2014, an unprecedented, wholly independent effort by the nation's bar, recruited and trained nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse practice backgrounds and completed screening of the more than 36,000 federal prisoners who requested volunteer assistance. The Project's painstaking review of these cases revealed that the overwhelming majority of those requests were by applicants who did not meet the criteria put forward by the Department of Justice in April 2014. Clemency Project 2014 submitted nearly 2,600 petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

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The American Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the Federal Public and Community Defenders, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers have joined together under a working group they call Clemency Project 2014. Through the efforts of Clemency Project 2014, the participating organizations are identifying potential clemency petitioners and recruiting and training volunteer lawyers to assist them in securing clemency. 

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The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.