US President Barack Obama Pardons 9 People

By on Dec 4, 2010 in International, Politics, United States, World Comments

US President Barack Obama granted his first presidential pardons to nine people convicted of crimes dating back decades up to 1960, several international news sites reported on Friday. The crimes include liquor law violation, illegal possession of government property, possession of illegal drugs, counterfeiting and even mutilating coins.

Barack Obama
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

No details were given by the White House on why these particular people were selected. However, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin has this explanation: “The president was moved by the strength of the applicants’ post-conviction efforts at atonement, as well as their superior citizenship and individual achievements in the years since their convictions.”

The people pardoned were:

  • James Bernard Banks, of Liberty, Utah
  • Russell James Dixon, of Clayton, Ga.
  • Laurens Dorsey, of Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Ronald Lee Foster, of Beaver Falls, Pa.
  • Timothy James Gallagher, of Navasota, Texas
  • Roxane Kay Hettinger, Powder Springs, Ga.
  • Edgar Leopold Kranz Jr., of Minot, N.D.
  • Floretta Leavy, of Rockford, Ill.
  • Scoey Lathaniel Morris, of Crosby, Texas

Presidential pardons often come in the holiday season toward year’s end. During the course of his presidency, Obama already received 551 pardon petitions, 131 of which were denied and another 265 were closed without presidential action, according to the Justice Department.

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