Thousands of Nonviolent Drug Offenders Watch as Biden Pardons Turkeys


By Sam Sliman and Nick Gebo

This Thanksgiving season, nonviolent drug offenders from across the country looked on as President Biden pardoned two lucky turkeys, saving them from a tasty demise. The turkeys, named “Chocolate” and “Chip,” were pardoned “based on their temperament and commitment to being productive members of society.” The prisoners, who were all members of a species actually capable of exhibiting these characteristics, received no such pardons, as the administration claimed they “can only pardon so many people.”

Originally, “Cookies” and “Cream” were the turkeys designated to be pardoned, but they had to be quickly replaced when trace amounts of marijuana were detected in their systems. After failing their mandatory drug test two days before the event, they were unfortunately sent to the chopping block, and Chocolate and Chip took their places. The administration hopes this will rally voters and send a message that even the animal kingdom is not safe from the war on drugs.

Mary Jane, a second grader at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary whose father was arrested for marijuana possession in 2016, was disappointed that her dad couldn’t be with her to celebrate the holidays, but did have to admit that those turkeys are pretty darn cute. Polly Seamaker, a local politician, expressed sympathy for Mary’s predicament, with the caveat that “if she didn’t want to end up in this situation, maybe she shouldn’t have been born into an area with such a disproportionately high incarceration rate.”  Seamaker then went back to praising Chocolate, the “exceptionally cute and adorable turkey,” for his “spirit and resolve,” later reminding listeners that the turkey grew up completely sober without either of his parents around to support him.

 “You know what? Those turkeys deserve the pardons,” said Jay L. Thyme, a nonviolent prisoner whose pardon application was rejected a month before. “Those super cute birds don’t live too long, while I’ll still have my whole life in front of me when I’m released in 2045.” 

While many celebrated the fun annual tradition, the move was not without its critics. A few key Republican senators expressed concern that pardoning not one, but two turkeys, was yet another example of Biden being “too soft on crime.” Others argued that pardoning too many turkeys would reduce the supply leading to more inflation, making Thanksgiving dinner unaffordable to Americans who already pay $80 billion in taxes to support our prison systems. 

Despite the criticisms, the pardons skyrocketed Biden’s approval rating as Americans finally feel represented by a president that values the lives of animals more than poor people. Following this massive success, Biden announced plans to cancel all Veterinary Health debt by 2028, lower taxes on luxury cat foods and free dogs from inhumane treatment in cages on the border. Plans to cover choir school tuition for parrots are still in the works.

A spokesperson for the Biden administration fought back against claims that the turkeys were being treated better than most people, stating that “95 percent of turkeys raised in the US are eaten each year, while only like 20 percent of citizens are incarcerated” and that “turkeys can’t be employed, whereas many prisoners can earn up to $1.75 per hour.”  Upon further questioning about the ethics of mass incarceration, the spokesperson showed visible signs of anger before blurting out “what, should we just pardon all non-violent drug offenders?!?” with an exasperated sigh and refusing to take further questions.

As they reflect on the pardons, many nonviolent drug offenders are coming to peace with their convictions. They accept that their heinous acts of self pleasure are irredeemable, despite harming no one. They realize that the turkeys are much more worthy of forgiveness than they are, and they have understood that, at the end of the day, the pardons really did go to the right place.

  • November 24, 2022