Statistical Analysis of Presidential Pardons

233 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2021

See all articles by Nicholas M. Pace

Nicholas M. Pace

RAND Corporation

James M. Anderson

RAND Corporation

Shamena Anwar

RAND Corporation

Danielle Schlang

RAND Corporation

Melissa Bradley

RAND Corporation

A.V. Chari

University of Sussex - School of Business, Management and Economics

Date Written: September 7, 2021

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Pace, Nicholas M. and Anderson, James M. and Anwar, Shamena and Schlang, Danielle and Bradley, Melissa and Chari, Amalavoyal, Statistical Analysis of Presidential Pardons (September 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3919202 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3919202

Nicholas M. Pace (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

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James M. Anderson

RAND Corporation ( email )

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Shamena Anwar

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
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Danielle Schlang

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
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Melissa Bradley

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Amalavoyal Chari

University of Sussex - School of Business, Management and Economics ( email )

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

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