Speed Reads

off the hook

Biden grants 3 pardons and 75 commutations in first use of presidential pardon power

President Biden used his power to pardon federal offenders for the first time on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports.

Per AP, Biden pardoned "a Kennedy-era Secret Service agent convicted of federal bribery charges" and "two people who were convicted on drug-related charges but went on to become pillars in their communities."

Biden also commuted the sentences of 75 nonviolent drug offenders. According to The Washington Post, "Biden's actions follow calls by criminal justice advocates to grant leniency in a system that often disproportionately affects people of color."

The Pew Research Center notes that former President Donald Trump granted 143 pardons and 94 commutations during his four years in office, for an average of 0.162 acts of clemency per day. Among those who benefitted were former White House strategist Stephen Bannon, four war criminals convicted of massacring civilians in Baghdad, and rapper Lil Wayne. Eighty-four percent of Trump's pardons and commutations were granted in his last four months as president.

As of Tuesday, Biden has been president for 461 days and has granted 78 acts of clemency, putting his daily average at 0.169, slightly above Trump's overall average and far higher than what Trump's average would have been at the same point in his own presidency.

Former President Barack Obama granted 212 pardons and 1,715 commutations during his 2,922 days as president, an average of 0.659 acts of clemency per day.