Dr. Boyce Watkins: President Obama Has Granted Zero Pardons Since His Election

25 Nov

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

This week, the president made me laugh. That was saying a lot at the time, given that I was exhausted from traveling across the country for Thanksgiving. The source of my entertainment was the president’s annual turkey pardon, in which he pardoned four turkeys, thus saving them from the fate that typically befalls turkeys at this time of the year. Being endangered and running from extinction, I figured that this is one thing that turkeys and black men have in common.

One of the things that got my attention was a very telling statistic about our president. After being in office for 22 months, the president has not granted or denied a single pardon. The only other president in recent history to have granted such a small number of pardons this deep into his presidency was Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.

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