Pardon Me, Sir!

Despite the vast mixture of opinions about President Obama’s 8 years in The White House, no one can argue that he has indeed made history. Will he continue to do so right up until the last moment of his presidency? His initiative to reinvigorate the Presidential right to pardon or grant clemency is gaining attention from those who seek his help as well as the critics.

If he holds true to his goal to grant as many or more than his predecessors, this could bode well for inmates seeking clemency as well as their families. He could quite possibly leave a glowing legacy of righting several wrongs inflicted on many who fell victim to a less than just and equal legal system.

So, what is the difference between a pardon and commutation? In a nutshell, a pardon would legally grant full forgiveness and reinstate all civil rights of the individual, while the more common commutation shortens the sentence. As of June 6, 2016 there were 1,378 pardon petitions submitted to President Obama, (Source; Office of the Pardon Attorney).

Traditionally, The Office of the Pardon Attorney has concentrated on commutations rather than pardons. Commutations require less investigation. Matters such as the inmate’s prison record and behavior while incarcerated are reviewed. Pardons on the other hand require a more in depth look into an inmate’s past. A full FBI investigation including past substance abuse, job history, outstanding debts, lawsuits, mental health history, and review of any charitable deeds. Needless to say, this can become a costly process and one that is not undertaken lightly.

Recently, President Obama granted a full pardon to a well known drug dealer by the name of Darryl “Lil’ D” Reed. For those who are unfamiliar with his legacy as a drug kingpin in Oakland, CA, the following article can get you up to speed: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Drug-Kingpin-s-Sentencing-Ends-Bloody-Era-in-2946651.php.

Dr. York is not a well known drug kingpin or a conspirator to manufacture and distribute drugs. Dr. York is not a money launderer. Dr. York is not a computer hacker. He isn’t an embezzler of bank funds. Neither is he a counterfeiter, smuggler or distributor of satellite cable TV decryption devices. These are just a few examples of the types of crimes on record as being pardoned by President Obama (Source; https://www.justice.gov/pardon/obama-pardons). No, he is not a criminal. On the contrary, Dr. York has spent the greater part of his life teaching, giving and encouraging good people to be better, become self-reliant and be responsible for one’s own actions. He has built communities and inspired others to do the same. He does not ask for followers, he teaches those who work hard to become leaders and inspire the next generation.

A pardon for this exemplary gentleman of 71 years would correct a cruel injustice done to him and those whose lives he has saved by way of his loving nature and brilliant ability to open the minds and touch the hearts of people from all walks of life. Dr. York is more than deserving of a pardon. Despite being innocent, he is in poor health and cut off from all whom he holds dear. Help free him not just because 135 years is a gross miscarriage of justice, or because of there being no evidence with which to convict him. Help free him because it’s the right and decent thing to do. It’s time.

#ObamaFreeDrYork2016

Sign the petition to Free Dr. York!!!

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