Better East Texas: Commuted sentences

Better East Texas: Commuted sentences

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - It is becoming painfully obvious that President Obama's second term as president is coming to an end.

He is in a full farewell tour with every country he visits between now and the end of the year and he has started doing those things that presidents can and will do when they are at the end of their final year.  Specifically, President Obama has started reducing sentences of criminals across the land.

The president has a right to take this action but it doesn't mean they should always take the action.  Obama has commuted the sentences of more than 6-hundred prisoners in the U-S criminal justice system, more than 325 in August alone.  The action is essentially a second chance for many felons, a lot of them with drug-related convictions.

To his credit, this action by the president is a partial response of reducing sentences to fit current punishment schedules – some of which have been lowered by Congress.

What is disturbing is that President Obama has used his clemency power more times than the past nine presidents combined.  That goes back almost 50 years.

So, this executive action is just the next in a long line of actions by this president to re-write laws – in this case – that apply to specific individuals.

Now, no doubt, it is fine to have a review system and an opportunity for a commuted sentence but you shouldn't be setting records with this action.

Additionally, there are still several months to go so it is safe to say that more and more federal prisoners will be released or be scheduled for early release and that is troubling.

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