Obama cuts short sentences of 111 federal inmates
President Barack Obama has cut short the sentences of 111 federal inmates in another round of commutations for those convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.
Obama had on Tuesday called for phasing out strict sentences for drug convictions, arguing that they lead to excessive punishment and incarceration rates unseen in other developed countries.
White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said the commutations underscored the president's commitment to using his clemency authority to give deserving individuals a second chance. He said Obama had granted a total of 673 commutations, more than the previous 10 presidents combined. More than a third of the recipients were serving life sentences.
"We must remember that these are individuals sons, daughters, parents, and in many cases, grandparents who have taken steps toward rehabilitation and who have earned their second chance," Eggleston said.
"They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes," he added.
Eggleston noted that Obama also granted commutation to 214 federal inmates earlier in the month. With yesterday's additions, Obama has granted the greatest number of commutations for a single month of any president.