In response to the Biden administration’s announcement today granting six year-end pardons, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) President and CEO DeAnna Hoskins issued the following statement: “It is a uniquely American belief that all people are entitled to the unalienable rights of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ JLUSA applauds the administration for uplifting this value through the decision to take the courageous step of restoring these unalienable rights to those who deserve and have earned a second chance at a full life.
“Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once stated that ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ Executing executive power during an administration and not waiting until the end of one’s term demonstrates courage as issuance of commutations and pardons remains a controversial matter.
“We applaud the administration’s decision to use executive power to help close disparities in society. Such action rises above the ideological differences that divide our country to reflect the values and intent of our Founding Fathers to create a more perfect union by establishing justice and fostering domestic tranquility to not only the privileged segments of our society but to those who have been marginalized and oppressed and are yearning to breathe free.”
Today’s actions are in addition to the pardons issued by the administration in October and others back in April, which was the earliest of any U.S. president in the past five administrations to grant clemency.