Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) posthumously to Zay Jeffries for his conviction for engaging in anticompetitive conduct in violation of the Sherman Act.
One of America’s leading scientists, Dr. Jeffries was crucial to the United States war effort in World War II. His efforts enabled the United States to develop artillery shells capable of piercing the armor of German tanks, and his contributions to the Manhattan Project helped end the war in the Pacific theater.
Although indicted in 1941, Dr. Jeffries proved vital to the war effort prompting Secretary of War Stimson to take the extraordinary step of requesting, with President Roosevelt’s approval, that the Attorney General defer any prosecution until after the war. When the Department of Justice returned to the case in 1947, it grounded its legal theory on a Supreme Court precedent that did not exist when Dr. Jeffries was originally indicted. Reportedly, the judge in the case was apologetic in handing down his sentence, which was a $2,500 fine with no jail time. In 1948, the same year as his conviction, President Truman awarded Dr. Jeffries the Presidential Medal for Merit.
Today, Dr. Jeffries’ case has attracted support from Senator Lindsey Graham, former Congressman Trey Gowdy, and others. In light of these facts, and in recognition of his contributions to helping to secure an Allied victory in the Second World War, the President has concluded that Dr. Zay Jeffries is worthy of a posthumous pardon.