Jordan Fabian, The Hill, August 3, 2016
President Obama on Wednesday commuted the sentences of 214 inmates, the largest single-day batch since at least 1900, according to the White House.
It’s part of Obama’s ramped-up effort to free prisoners slapped with lengthy sentences during the government’s war on drugs. Among those freed on Wednesday were 67 people serving life sentences, mostly for nonviolent drug crimes.
Obama has issued 562 commutations during his seven-and-a-half years in office, more than the previous nine presidents combined, according to the White House. In total, 197 of those inmates were sentenced to life in prison.
The commutations are part of a clemency initiative launched in 2014 to review sentences of drug offenders who would not receive harsh sentences under today’s guidelines.
“Our work is far from finished,” White House counsel Neil Eggleston wrote in a blog post. “I expect the president will continue to grant clemency in a historic and inspiring fashion.”