The official White House website proudly says this:
Today, President Obama granted clemency to 231 deserving individuals — the most individual acts of clemency granted in a single day by any president in this nation’s history. With today’s 153 commutations, the President has now commuted the sentences of 1,176 individuals, including 395 life sentences. The President also granted pardons to 78 individuals, bringing his total number of pardons to 148. Today’s acts of clemency — and the mercy the President has shown his 1,324 clemency recipients — exemplify his belief that America is a nation of second chances.This is more commutations than the past 11 presidents combined.
The White House site shows a chart of the number of computations by the last 11 presidents, going back to Truman.
One is struck by the difference in the number of computations by Democratic presidents compared to that of Republican presidents.
Are Democratic presidents more fair and compassionate than Republican presidents? Or are they less committed to America continuing to be a nation of laws?
A couple of days ago, USA Today reported that most of these actions are directed toward drug-related sentences that the president feels are unfair.
Michael Collins with the Drug Policy Alliance tells USA Today, "We need the president to pick up the pace of commutations before he leaves office."
Collins says, "He is to be applauded for his actions thus far, but we know the next occupant of the White House is unsympathetic to the cause of mass incarceration, and to the plight of those serving unjust sentences in federal prison."
USA Today says, "That effort has felt a new urgency since the election of Donald Trump, who has named as his attorney general one of the biggest critics of Obama's use of commutations."
Jeff Sessions does indeed believe in enforcing our laws.
Sessions says, "The president [Obama] is playing a dangerous game to advance his political ideology."
A pardon expert tells USA Today that Obama's actions are the greatest last minute clemency actions he has seen, calling it "the greatest clemency surge in history."
White House Counsel Neil Eggleston says, "The mercy that the president has shown his 1,324 clemency is remarkable."
But admits "it is merely a tool" and that Congress can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure over the long run that our criminal justice system operates more fairly and effectively..."
No question---change is coming to the White House.
It is fairly certain that Trump will not see his presidency as a "tool" to personally decide who should be in prison and who should not be.
Neither will A/G Sessions, who has a history of honoring the law.
This is a striking glimpse of the profound difference between the secular progressive and the conservative.
The secular progressive's moral compass is based solely on the ever changing, relativistic, evolving "truth" of the moment and of their own understanding at that moment.
The Apostle Paul defined this ritual as "ever learning, while never coming to an understanding of the truth..."
The conservative---particularly the Christian with a biblical worldview finds their moral compass in the values and principles of God's unchanging Word.
Although not all our Founders would be considered "evangelical" Christians---most were---they all recognized that the most sure foundation for the new nation they were creating would be one that was "under God" with a legal system drawn from God's absolute Laws.
This is why the likeness of Moses and The Ten Commandments are so prominently displayed---carved into stone---in the Supreme Court building in our nation's capitol.
Only in recent years have secular progressives significantly influenced the culture away from the Judeo-Christian values and principles---and toward a so-called "progressive" secularism.
At this time of year, the nation's attention is turned to the only One who truly has the power to set the captive free.
Jesus Christ Himself did not come to arbitrarily commute sentences, but to personally pay the price for our sin and truly set the captive free.
Joy to the world, the Lord has come.