President Obama Grants 330 Commutations
In his final act as president, President Obama granted clemency to 330 nonviolent drug offenders today. All were serving long or even life sentences under outdated laws. Calling America a “nation of second chances” President Obama has now granted more commutations than any president in our nation’s history.
Over the last two years, clemency has become one of the most popular issues on Change.org and our platform has become a resource that families impacted by mass incarceration have never had before — a place to tell their stories and find support from thousands of people.
There are now over two million signatures on 174 petitions hosted on a movement page organized by the CAN-DO Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping people receive executive clemency. At least twenty clemency recipients have had petitions on Change.org and you can read some of their stories here.
Included in today’s round of commutations was Terry Anderson, a 53-year-old mother of two who has served over 20 years of her 30 year sentence for her role in a nonviolent drug and money laundering case. More than 14,000 people signed a petition in support of her sentence being commuted.
Change.org users aren’t just signing these petitions, using our new crowdfunding tool they’ve raised over $75,000 to help clemency recipients with the transition out of prison. Without this support, they would be starting over with nothing. Supporters of Timothy Tyler, for example, have crowdfunding over $20,000.
To better understand clemency and the stories being told on Change.org, watch this video about Sharanda Jones, a first time nonviolent drug offender who served 17 years of a life sentence before being clemency in December 2015.