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Liberty man among nine pardoned by Obama

Liberty man among nine pardoned by Obama

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Liberty, Utah, man is among nine people granted the first pardons of President Barack Obama's time in office.

James Bernard Banks was sentenced to two years of probation in 1972 for illegal possession of government property.

The White House declined to give details Friday on the cases or comment on why the nine were selected. Others in the group had been convicted of crimes including possessing drugs, counterfeiting and mutilating coins.

The Justice Department says Obama has received 551 pardon petitions in the course of his presidency, of which he's denied 131. Another 265 petitions were closed without presidential action.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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