President Barack Obama has rarely used his power to pardon people convicted of crimes. The Justice Department says that’s about to change. It gave federal inmates hope by publishing new criteria last week. If you are a low-level drug offender with no history of violence or ties to organized crime, and you’ve served at least 10 years, then you’ve got a chance. Now the department is bracing for thousands of petitions. John Malcolm, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp why presidential pardons have declined over the years.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.