When President Trump “pardons” a pair of Thanksgiving turkeys on Tuesday, prisoners will be watching and hoping that Trump breaks with tradition and frees human beings alongside lucky birds.

This year, optimism is fueled by signs that the White House and Justice Department are processing clemency requests, as Trump denounces perceived unfairness in criminal sentencing and vows to release more inmates.

Last week, Trump endorsed legislation that would reduce some drug-crime penalties, after saying in October that “a lot of people” are jailed for “no reason,” and that he was “actively looking” for inmates to release.

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