RPT: Obama to Grant Clemency to Hundreds of Drug Offenders
President Obama is planning to grant clemency to hundreds of drug offenders, according to Yahoo News. Last December, the president granted clemency for 21 people convicted of drug charges.
In some cases, people spend decades behind bars for non-violent drug crimes due to mandatory minimum sentences even if the laws are later repealed.
Today on Happening Now, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano supported President Obama’s plan. “Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day.”
The judge explained that two types of people fall under clemency. First are there are those who bought drugs for their own use, and second are the people who sold it to others for personal use. While the use and sale of these drugs is illegal under federal law, those convicted are not violent criminals.
And while clemency does not clear a person’s record, it does free them from jail on the basis of time served.
The United States Sentencing Commission changed the mandatory minimum sentencing law for future offenders, but it doesn’t affect people who are currently serving time.
“President Obama has decided that this is inherently unfair,” Judge Napolitano said, “And he has directed the Justice Department to find people who A) have been sentenced to these long-terms, B) where there was no violence, and C) ask them to make an application for clemency and he would grant it to them.”
Judge Napolitano said judges and prosecutors disagree on the merits behind this plan.
“Judges are of the view that they should be free to sentence on the basis of the crime and the criminal, not on the basis of what the statute tells them.”
Publicly, prosecutors claim that going after non-violent drug criminals allows them to get more information on other drug dealers.
What they're really "terrified of," Judge Napolitano said, is that if drugs like marijuana become lawful, there will be less for them to prosecute.