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Obama gives 17 felons a little relief

By Joshua Bennett
On March 21, 2013

President Obama issued pardons to 17 convicted felons, his first use of his clemency powers this term.
 During his first term in 2008 he issued a total of 22 pardons and one commutation, which shortens the sentences of inmates currently in prison.
 A pardon may erase the stigma felons face out of prison face after being convicted like being denied work at certain establishments and certain restrictions on gun ownership.
 Alex White, a senior criminal justice major, feels conflicted about the issue of pardons to felons.
 "Some people deserve for their criminal history to be erased but I don't think everyone does. This might make people think that if they do something bad maybe Obama will get them out of it," she said.
 The Constitution declares the president has clemency powers to forgive convictions as a check and balance on the criminal justice system.
 The president has not commented on the pardons and the Justice Department has been likewise silent on the subject.
 "That's technically one of the greatest problems with are government: its so secret. With something like erasing criminal backgrounds I think it's important for us to know why from they are being erased by the president himself," said sophomore english major Jasmine Westmoreland.
                   However, Matt Lehrich a White House spokesman, did comment on the matter at a press conference.
"As he has in past years, the president granted these individuals clemency because they have demonstrated genuine remorse and a strong commitment to being law- abiding productive citizens and active members of their communities," Lehrich said.  

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