News Release

Just in Time for the Holidays, President Obama Announces 153 Commutations; Total Grants Near 1,200

Washington, DC (Dec. 19, 2016) – Today, President Obama announced 153 grants of commutation. Of today's 153 grants, 82 were in cases supported by Clemency Project 2014. That brings the total number of commutations granted by President Obama to date to 1,176, of which 605 were supported by Clemency Project 2014.

"With fewer than five weeks left in his term, President Obama has once again commuted the unnecessarily extreme sentences of scores of federal prisoners," said Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014. "After years of extraordinary work by thousands of volunteer lawyers from across the nation, Clemency Project 2014 could not be more proud to have submitted more than 2,500 worthy petitions for clemency to the administration. This holiday season I look at the extraordinary achievements of Clemency Project 2014, the amazing contributions of thousands of volunteer lawyers as well as the numerous participating organizations, the generosity of the Project's supporters, and the life- and community-changing actions of the President, and I am humbled. There is still one month remaining, and many pending petitions awaiting action, for the President to continue and accelerate this important work. I trust he will do so."

Clemency Project 2014, an unprecedented, wholly independent effort by the nation's bar, has recruited and trained nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse practice backgrounds and completed screening of over 35,500 of the more than 36,000 federal prisoners who have 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. To date, Clemency Project 2014 has submitted more than 2,500 petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.

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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Contacts

Please direct all media inquiries to media@clemencyproject2014.org.

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 justice system.