Statistical Analysis of Presidential Pardons
233 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2021
Date Written: September 7, 2021
This report describes a study of pardon petition evaluations that were performed by the Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA), a unit in the U.S. Department of Justice that processes thousands of requests for executive clemency each year. A statistical examination was conducted on how OPA screens incoming petitions for technical compliance, investigates the facts underlying each petitioner’s request for clemency, and applies substantive standards for evaluating the merits of such petitions when crafting recommendations to the U.S. President to grant or deny relief. Data were analyzed for any patterns in OPA decisions that indicated statistically significant evidence of racial or ethnic bias.
Keywords: pardons, commutation, clemency
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