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Press Release

Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates Statement on the Clemency Initiative

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates released the following statement on the Clemency Initiative: 

“In late August, we made a promise: that the Department of Justice would review and make a recommendation to President Obama on every commutation petition from a drug offender then in our possession. I’m proud to say we kept that promise. The Office of the Pardon Attorney has now processed more than 16,000 petitions since the launch of the Clemency Initiative in April 2014, ensuring that President Obama had the information he needed to evaluate worthy cases up until the final week of his presidency. With 1,715 commutations in total, this undertaking was as enormous as it was unprecedented, and I am incredibly grateful to the teams of people who devoted their time and energy to the project since its inception. By restoring proportionality to unnecessarily long drug sentences, this Administration has made a lasting impact on our criminal justice system.”

Updated May 3, 2022

Press Release Number: 17-098