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Obama pardons eight: crimes include drug violations, sale of alligator hides

President Barack Obama speaks to graduates before he delivers the commencement address at the Booker T. Washington High School graduation at Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, May 16, 2011.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Barack Obama
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Two years and four months into his presidency, Barack Obama granted his second set of pardons.

They went to eight individuals for non-violent federal crimes including marijuana violations, cable TV piracy and aiding and abetting the possession and sale of illegal American alligator hides.

The crimes date back to 1975, and none were more recent than 2001. All of the jail terms and periods of probation have been served.

The new acts of presidential clemency bring to 17 the total number of pardons Mr. Obama has granted. At this same point in his presidency, George W. Bush had granted only 12 pardons.

But both numbers are far fewer than the number of granted by their other recent predecessors.

Today's announcement of pardons came by way of a White House press release. Usually they're announced by the Department of Justice where the U.S. Pardon Attorney is based. The pardon attorney screens pardon petitions for the president and sends him recommendations for action.

To date, Mr. Obama has received 672 petitions for pardons and over 4,000 for commutations of sentence. And while 17 pardons have been granted, 131 pardon petitions have been denied as have over 1150 requests for commutations of sentence. Another 294 pardon petitions were closed without presidential action and 775 bids for commutation.

The White House issued today's list of pardon recipients without further comment or explanation of the president's thinking.

Here are the eight pardons granted today by Mr. Obama:

  • Randy Eugene Dyer - Burien, Wash.

    Offense: Conspiracy to import marijuana (hashish), 21 U.S.C. § 963; conspiracy to remove baggage from the custody and control of the U.S. Customs Service and convey false information concerning an attempt to damage a civil aircraft, 18 U.S.C. § 371.

    Sentence: June 19, 1975; Western District of Washington; five years in prison and two years of special parole (special parole term subsequently vacated.)

  • Danny Alonzo Levitz - Angola, Ind.

    Offense: Conspiracy, 18 U.S.C. § 371.

    Sentence: Aug. 18, 1980; Northern District of Indiana; two years of probation, $400 fine.

  • Michael Ray Neal - Palm Coast, Fla.

    Offense: Manufacture, assembly, modification and distribution of equipment for unauthorized decryption of satellite cable programming, 47U.S.C. § 605(e)(4).

    Sentence: May 31, 1991, as amended June 2, 1992; Eastern District of Virginia; six months in prison, three years of supervised release conditioned on six months of home confinement, $2,500 fine.

  • Edwin Alan North - Wolcottville, Ind.

    Offense: Transfer of a firearm without payment of transfer tax, 26 U.S.C. § 5861(e).

    Sentence: Aug. 18, 1980; Northern District of Indiana; six months of unsupervised probation.

  • Allen Edward Peratt Sr. - Sioux Falls, S.D.

    Offense: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846.

    Sentence: July 23, 1990, as amended May 29, 1991; District of South Dakota; 30 months in prison, five years of supervised release.

  • Christine Marie Rossiter - Lincoln, Neb.

    Offense: Conspiracy to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846.

    Sentence: Oct. 7, 1992; District of Nebraska; three years of probation conditioned on performance of 500 hours of community service.

  • Patricia Ann Weinzatl - Prentice, Wis.

    Offense: Structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, 31 U.S.C. § 5324(a)(3).

    Sentence: Aug. 15, 2001; Western District of Wisconsin; three years of probation, $5,000 fine.

  • Bobby Gerald Wilson - Summerton, S.C.

    Offense: Aiding and abetting the possession and sale of illegal American alligator hides (Lacey Act), 16 U.S.C. § 3373(d)(1)(B) and 18U.S.C. § 2.

    Sentence: Dec. 19, 1985, as amended May 13, 1986; Southern District of Georgia; three and one-half months in prison, five years of probation conditioned on performance of 300 hours of community service.

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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.