Obama grants clemency to two from NJ — one gets a full pardon
President Barack Obama has granted clemency to two people from New Jersey — pardoning one of them entirely. They're among 231 people granted clemency in total Monday.
The White House said Monday that was more people granted clemency granted in a single day than by any president in this nation’s history.
Monday's list included 78 pardons, out of 148 granted pardons during his administration. In all, he's commuted the sentences of 1,176 individuals, including 395 life sentences, the White House said.
"While each clemency recipient’s story is unique, the common thread of rehabilitation underlies all of them. ... These are the stories that demonstrate the successes that can be achieved — by both individuals and society — in a nation of second chances," the White House said in a statement Monday.
In New Jersey, Obama granted clemency to Michael Stradford of Newark, convicted of distribution and possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base. He'd been sentenced to 188 months in prison and four years of supervised release in 2008 — meaning he wasn't set to be released until about 2023. Instead, his sentence will expire on Dec. 19 of 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.
Obama also pardoned Edward John Hartman of Westampton Township, convicted of conspiracy for submitting false and fraudulent documents the Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration. He'd been sentenced to four months in prison and three years probation in 1986.
"The mercy that the president has shown his 1,324 clemency recipients is remarkable, but we must remember that clemency is a tool of last resort and that only Congress can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure over the long run that our criminal justice system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety," the White House said Monday.