Slate: The Presidential Turkey Pardon Insults the Real People Who Deserve to Be Pardoned


Caramel and Popcorn are the lucky gobblers set to be pardoned this year, but I'd like to propose a new Thanksgiving tradition for the White House: Instead of (or perhaps in addition to) pardoning turkeys, the president could pardon real people. The rate at which the Obama administration pardons semiflightless birds is only a little worse than his administration's track record for pardoning human beings. Obama has pardoned two birds every year since 2009, compared with zero people in 2009, nine in 2010, 13 in 2011, and zero in 2012, out of 1,372 total applicants. The administration has granted one commutation of sentence out of 5,371 total applications.

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