President Trump: Meet with Clemency Recipients.
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Before leaving office, President Obama sat down for lunch with six people who were released from prison after being granted clemency by U.S. presidents. Three people with sentences commuted by Obama were joined by two who were freed by President George W. Bush and two by President Bill Clinton.
He ate a meal with these people, some of whom had recently spent over two decades in prison, and listened to their stories. Yes, they had made mistakes but as nonviolent drug offenders, the sentences they received were unfair. These people have gone on to rebuild their families, get jobs and become taxpayers, and are giving back to their communities.
Unfortunately, President Trump disagreed with President Obama's use of clemency for nonviolent drug offenders and one year after his inauguration there is no indication that he will use his presidential pardoning power to help people.
However, Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser recently convened a "listening session" for Trump about criminal justice reform. That's a great sign that Trump understands the importance of this issue, but this meeting did not include anyone who received clemency.
President Trump could learn so much from clemency recipients if he takes just a few moments to listen to their stories and understand why clemency from the president is so important. These are hardworking people, and often people of faith, who have overcome incredible obstacles and are now doing great things with their freedom — exactly the kind of success stories President Trump often talks about.
Please sign this petition asking President Trump or other members of his administration to meet with clemency recipients.
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