Families of inmates with pending clemency petitions gathered for a candlelight vigil outside the White House on Monday night to urge President Obama to grant more clemencies before he leaves office. The event was organized by the criminal justice reform group #Cut50.
President Obama has granted an unprecedented number of commutations since his clemency initiative began in 2014. Families of inmates with pending applications fear that President-elect Trump will not be as proactive.
Many of the applicants have life sentences. There are more than 2,000 federal inmates serving life sentences for nonviolent crimes, according to the ACLU.
Each petition is considered by the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice. Once the OPA reviews and approves the case, it is sent to the Deputy Attorney General for her sign off and then to the White House. Applicants must be nonviolent offenders who have already served 10 years of their sentence.
There are currently 11,355 applications pending. Yesterday families delivered more than 2 million signatures to the Department of Justice in support of clemency.