President Trump, during his one term in office, has used clemency power on behalf of convicted liars and crooked politicians, some of whom have been his friends. But the long list of pardons his team has prepared for him to sign on his final full day in office includes the names of people who have been serving life sentences for drug or fraud charges and who for years have been seeking clemency.
In the past, the administration has emphasized clemency for low-level offenders in order to blunt criticism that Mr. Trump was inappropriately offering pardons to people to whom he had personal connections. Tuesday’s group includes non-violent offenders whose names have been percolating for years among advocates who believe their punishments never fit their crimes and whose cases underscore the broken nature of the country’s criminal justice system.
The names were recommended by a group that included Alice Johnson, who has been working with #Cut50, a prisoner advocacy group, and Mark Holden, a former executive at Koch Industries. Ms. Johnson herself was granted a full pardon after speaking on Mr. Trump’s behalf at the Republican National Convention and has continued to personally press Mr. Trump and his family members about their cases. The Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney was cut out of the process, as has been typical in the Trump White House.
Among those being pardoned Tuesday, according to people directly involved in the process, are Darrell Frazier, who has served more than 30 years of a life sentence for drug conspiracy charges. During his incarceration, Darrell founded The Joe Johnson Tennis Foundation, a nonprofit supporting children in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/19/us/politics/trump-pardons.html