In the single stroke of a pen, the President, on behalf of the American people, can convert the intangible myth of America's forgiveness into what Jesse rightly insists is a matter of human entitlement. When you pay off your credit card debt in full, you no longer owe anything. The full utilization of the President's power to forgive, may be the greatest legacy any President can leave behind.
It is an interesting time to beat the drum for Presidential clemency. Last month, news broke of President Obama’s plan for broad and systematic commutations given to those who are suffering from (now-repealed) draconian sentencing guidelines.
While that particular plan would not apply to Jackson’s case, President Obama is making it clear that he is finally ready to start flexing his clemency muscle. He recently replaced U.S. Pardon Attorney Ronald Rogers with Deborah Leff. Rogers, a former military judge and drug crimes prosecutor, had a reputation for being unsympathetic for clemency petitioners. Leff represents a significant shift in the mentality for federal executive clemency. With her history of fighting for fair sentencing and helping the poor, Leff will almost assuredly send more petitions to Obama’s desk with a recommendation to grant clemency.