(AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE) — WASHINGTON  A Rastafarian prophet, a former Taliban captive and thousands of minor drug traffickers have one thing in common: Their names have been submitted to President Barack Obama for clemency before he leaves office in two weeks.

Some US presidents have used this regal power of leniency in a pointed way near the end of their term in office.

On the last day of his term in 2001, Democratic president Bill Clinton granted pardon in a highly controversial move to late fugitive trader Marc Rich, whose ex-wife had been a major donor to Democrats.

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