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Recently President Obama made news when he granted pardons to 17 people, all of whom had committed nonviolent offenses, most years, if not decades, in the past. Few of these fortunate individuals had even served time in prison for their crimes. This exercise of presidential discretion almost doubles the number of pardons granted since Obama took office in 2009. Most reactions to the recent pardons have chastised him for not exercising this power more generously. And if he continues at this pace, he will come nowhere close to the numbers of pardons granted by his immediate predecessors.

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