April 25 (UPI) — President Donald Trump has denied clemency for nearly 200 people who’d applied for pardons and commutations through the U.S. Justice Department.
The denials — 98 requests for commutations and 82 applications for pardons — are Trump’s first clemency caseload since he took office over a year ago, the Office of the Pardon Attorney said.
Pardons receive full legal forgiveness and restored civil rights that were taken away by a felony conviction. Commutations shorten a prison sentence but leave some consequences intact.
USA Today first reported the denials, which were issued last week.
So far, Trump has granted pardons to three people — including former White House aide Scooter Libby, who didn’t apply for relief from his 2007 conviction on two counts of lying, one count of obstruction of justice and a fourth count of making a false statement.
The other two pardons went to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Navy submariner Kristian Saucier.
Arpaio had been found guilty of criminal contempt in a court case over racial profiling and Saucier pleaded guilty to illegally retaining photographs of a nuclear submarine.
One case the president denied clemency for is Anthony Calabrese, a 57-year-old alleged mob hit man from Chicago who was convicted of three robberies and sentenced to 62 years in prison. Calabrese, diagnosed with terminal cancer, had requested compassionate release.
It’s not uncommon for U.S. presidents to issue a large number of denials. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama each denied many before granting their first pardons and commutations.
Last weekend after being prompted by actor Sylvester Stallone, Trump tweeted that he’s considering a posthumous pardon for late boxing champion Jack Johnson. The boxer was convicted in 1912 of violating the Mann Act, which barred the transportation of women across state lines for “immoral” purposes. Johnson, who served a year in prison, died in 1946.