President Obama issued commutations to 46 federal drug offenders on Monday, doubling the total number of commutations he has granted while in office. Before this week, Obama’s rate of commutations — the percentage of all commutation requests to his administration that he has granted — was the second-lowest of all recent presidents (0.3 percent). Now his rate has risen to 0.5 percent, ahead of former President George H.W. Bush (0.4 percent) and former President George W. Bush (0.1 percent).
Obama’s pardon rate still remains the lowest of all recent presidents (3.3 percent), but if he follows the example of recent lame-duck presidents, his pardon and commutation rates may both rise during his final months in office. Both of his clemency rates have already risen modestly.