President Obama to Commute Sentences of Dozens of Drug Offenders
President Obama plans this week to free dozens of inmates serving time for non-violent drug offenses by commuting their sentences, according to a presidential spokesman.
In total, Obama plans to commute the sentences of up to 80 people, many currently in prison for non-violent, drug-related offenses. This will mean that these individuals can walk free without serving the remainder of their sentences. Some would have spent the remainder of their life incarcerated, as they’re serving life sentences.
Although this move will mark one of the largest groups of commuted sentences by a president in decades, the roughly 80 commutations are but a small percentage of the over 30,000 inmates who have filed an application for clemency.
According to statistics from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the United States is the world’s largest jailer with 25% of the world’s prison population, despite making up just 5% of the overall population. The United States prison population has risen over 700% since 1970.
[Update: President Obama granted clemency to 46 individuals today, including 14 serving life in prison for non-violent drug offense.]