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Obama Grants Clemency To 2 Oregonians

<p>The Oregon State Penitentiary</p>

Danielle Peterson


The Oregon State Penitentiary

President Barack Obama’s latest act of clemency included two Oregonians in prison on drug charges.

Kurt David Christensen of Portland is among 64 convicts Obama pardoned this week. Christensen went to prison in 2001 for possession and distribution of marijuana.

Michael Shawn Thomas of Salem will be released in two years. He is one of 209 people whose sentences Obama commuted. Thomas’s sentence was shortened by 4 years for his conviction on a drug distribution charge.

Pardons remove convictions from a person’s record, while commutations shorten a sentence. However, commuting a sentence does not remove a conviction from a criminal record.

The president has now commuted the sentences of 1,385 individuals, which includes 504 life sentences — the most commutations issued by any president in the nation’s history. It's also more than the total number of commutations issued by the past 12 presidents combined.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

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