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Let's Be Real: Obama Didn't Do Quite Enough for Criminal Justice Reform

Let’s Be Real: Obama Didn’t Do Quite Enough for Criminal Justice Reform

It feels easy to miss President Obama already. President Donald Trump’s massive, mysterious political career could be as bad as many people fear. Or it could be okay. Most likely it’ll end up somewhere in the middle. Now is the perfect time to remember that Obama actually got better the longer he was in office, mostly trading drone assassinations for commuting the sentences of drug criminals. His year-one and year-two faults got further away. With days left of his reign, his virtues stand out more starkly than ever. But nothing sums up the man’s mixed legacy quite as much as his own words on his most frustrating issue: criminal justice reform. Last week, the Harvard Law Review—of which Obama was the first black president—published 56 pages of him summing up what he did and didn’t do on criminal justice reform. Like the man himself, his writing is impressive, intellectual and nuanced, not to mention frustrating, dishonest and cagey. An easy example to pick at is Obama touting…

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