President Biden’s Clemency Provides Welcome Second Chance

President Biden offers first pardons and commutations of administration

Contact: Janessa Sambola-Harris, [email protected]

WASHINGTON — Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after President Biden announced the pardons of three people and commuted the sentences of 75 people:

“We welcome President Biden’s actions and celebrate all the people and their loved ones who have received this second chance. President Biden’s pardons and commutations, though commendable, also demonstrate the urgent need for transformative change in our criminal-legal system. People who are released from prison face barriers restarting their lives and confront discriminatory restrictions around employment, housing, and pursuing educational opportunities, forcing them to the margins of society. We must prove ourselves to be a nation that truly recognizes the importance of second chances, as President Biden claims we are, and bring an end to our discriminatory and inhumane system of mass incarceration.

“We also urge the president to commute all death sentences and fully implement the sentencing reform provisions of the First Step Act. We look forward to continuing our work with the administration and Congress to achieve these goals.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit