The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) applauds Friday’s announcement of President Barack Obama granting commutations of sentences to 95 individuals and pardons to two individuals. With Friday’s commutations, President Obama has granted a total of 184 commutations during his time in office, the most of any president since the Johnson Administration and more than the last five presidents combined. Of Friday’s 95 commutees, an overwhelming majority of these individuals were incarcerated for drug offenses. LDF hopes that President Obama will continue to exercise his presidential authority to commute and pardon even more individuals, particularly as a way to remedy the over-incarceration of Blacks and Latinos as a result of the War on Drugs. LDF continues to advocate for comprehensive criminal justice reform, including sentencing reform that does not include mandatory minimums, and other reforms that provide second chances to people with criminal records, such as the restoration of voting rights, limits on criminal background checks, and equal access to housing and public benefits.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is not a part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) although LDF was founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. Since 1957, LDF has been a completely separate organization. Please refer to us in media attributions as the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund or LDF.