Trump Pardons Offenders in Final Days

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Audrey Lezcano

Former President Donald Trump uses his last few days in office to give out last minute pardons.

Audrey Lezcano, Staff Writer

Former President Donald Trump took his last few days in office as an opportunity to pardon several well known individuals.The ability to pardon is a power that is held by the president of the United States. When one is given a presidential pardon, they do not have to face any punishment for the crime which they have been convicted of. Therefore, receiving a presidential pardon is seen as a high honor. That being said, Trump pardoned a total of 143 people, a group that included lawmakers, political allies, friends and even some rappers.

Trump pardoned four rappers just hours before the inauguration, the most popular being Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., also known as Lil Wayne. Trump explained his reasoning for pardoning Wayne, which was a response to his donations to charities and hospitals, as well as his initiative for helping out at food banks. His original sentence was for 10 years for carrying a loaded gun on a private plane in Miami.

The former president also pardoned Bill Kapri, who goes by the stage name Kodak Black. Kodak was released for being a leader to the community – for years he has been making donations and providing for the needs of underprivileged children. The sentence he faced amounted to a total of four years until Trump commuted it. Kapri had been arrested by law enforcement for making a false statement in a background check about his past convictions while trying to buy a firearm.

It is very common for leaving presidents to take such executive actions right before leaving office so I think Trump was just following suit in pardoning all these people. From what I know, many of those who were pardoned had committed nonviolent ‘white-collar crimes’ so it is not surprising that they were pardoned. In terms of whether the reasoning was good or not, I do not know enough to comment. I believe that a presidential pardon is extremely significant, as it is essentially the leader of the free world serving justice as they see fit.”

— senior Brayden Sanchez

Stephan Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist was also pardoned. He was charged for defrauding contributions made toward building the wall Trump spoke of throughout his campaign. It took the former president a lot of thought to come to this decision. Sources close to Trump stated that kept changing his mind until he finally made the decision on Tuesday of Jan. 19 to officially pardon him.

Former mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick was pardoned as well. His original conviction was for obstruction of justice, perjury and corruption as he was improperly using government funds.The former president also pardoned some of his close friends and associates. Glen Moss, a friend of the 45th president, was pardoned during his last day in office. He was convicted of tax evasion and other unnamed charges. Elliot Broidy, a Republican fundraiser was also pardoned.

“I think he [Donald Trump] made the decision to pardon those people because he just wanted to use his presidential powers towards what he thought was a good deed. I do not think Trump had good reasoning for pardoning these people mostly because he was just tired and fed up with the whole election situation and wanted to pardon whoever,” junior Mark Snyder said.

It seems that the president took his last few days to forgive those whose actions he believed made up for their crimes. Whether it was through service or overall good behavior, some speculate that he felt these individuals deserved to be released from their charges. Others claim that Trump was simply trying to help close supporters. Either way, these pardons and commutations came suddenly as President Donald Trump wrapped up his term and readied for a historic transition of power.