Barack Obama weighs final requests for clemency

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Barack Obama, who has granted clemency more often than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson, is expected to perform more acts of mercy during his final weeks in office.

Obama’s frequent use of that executive power enshrined in the Constitution, along with reviews of thousands of drug-related cases, means he will be the first president since the 1960s to leave office with a smaller federal prison population.

Obama’s critics, including the incoming attorney general, say his use of clemency for a large class of convicts has been a disturbing power grab. But supporters say a law that reduced drug penalties six years ago created severe injustices for those sentenced before it.

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