If not now, when?
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. makes an elegant and passionate argument for presidential pardons and clemency in these final days of the much lauded, and too often disparaged Obama administration. The commander-in chief is a leading advocate for judicial reforms and has granted over 1,000 pardons during his administration.
But brother Jackson implores the president to do more before he returns to Chicago to say farewell to the presidency. He offers that presidential pardons of the magnitude he proposes, elevate the act to the level of the Emancipation Proclamation and ensure that Obama’s already historic legacy will be enhanced and remembered as the most Christian and morally guided in history.
Jackson’s first-hand knowledge and personal insight into the particularly cruel and inhumane workings of the prison system, underscores the need for compassion and forgiveness for those who have served their time with integrity.
It’s time to return these men and women to their families and communities to start anew and join the citizen collective, to make earnest and valuable contributions to the quality of life and the standard of living in communities across the country.
It’s also important to note that Jackson and his wife Sandi are not making special requests for pardons for themselves, but instead assert that time served should be the mantle of a swift a judicious response to these requests for forgiveness.
As Jackson so eloquently puts it: “While I am included in that number, I am not speaking for myself. I will take my place at the back of the line.”
These pardons are an extension of grace and redemption. “Pardon the many and uplift the masses,” says Jackson.
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If not now, when?