Obama Pardons Coin Mutilator

From the HuffPost:

WASHINGTON — President Obama, who had gone nearly 700 days without using his clemency power, finally issued nine pardons on Friday afternoon to a very minor rogue’s gallery of small-time felons who long ago did their time, if they did any at all.

Far from sending a message about the excesses and errors of the judicial system, Obama picked minor and sometimes ancient offenses — such as a 1963 conviction for “mutilation of coins” — to forgive. He also chose not to commute any sentences at all.

But expectations diminished as the days and months went by, and Obama became the second-slowest president to issue a pardon at all. He was about two weeks away from surpassing even George W. Bush, who pardoned seven people just before Christmas of his second year.

“You can decrease the significance of the pardon power by not using it, that’s one way to do it,” Ruckman said. “The other way to decrease its significance is to basically use it on behalf of the people who need it the least.”