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Obama issues pardons for 17 felons

March 2, 2013 at 9:39 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- President Obama has pardoned 17 felons who committed offenses ranging from embezzlement to drug dealing to carrying an unregistered firearm, officials said.

Those pardoned had been sentenced to a range of punishments from 18 months probation to five years in prison, The Hill reported Saturday.

It was Obama's first use of his clemency powers in his second term, The New York Times reported.

He did not issue any commutations, which shorten a prisoner's sentence but do not erase the crime.

Obama has exercised his pardon powers much less than most presidents, data from the Justice Department website revealed.

During his first term he issued 22 pardons and one commutation, while denying 1,019 applications for a pardon and 3,793 applications for commutation.

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