President Obama Grants 273 New Commutations and Pardons

Today President Obama granted commutations to 209 individuals, and pardoned 64 more. The vast majority of these people had charges related to nonviolent drug offenses.

President Obama has now issued 1,385 commutations – including 504 life sentences – which is more than the past 12 presidents combined. (Photo: Getty Spencer Platt/Illustration by Sisi Recht)

“With today’s 209 grants of commutation, the President has now commuted the sentences of 1,385 individuals – the most grants of commutation issued by any President in this nation’s history”, Neil Eggleston, Counsel to the President, said in a statement released today. “President Obama’s 1,385 commutation grants – which includes 504 life sentences – is also more than the total number of commutations issued by the past 12 presidents combined. And with today’s 64 pardons, the President has now granted a total of 212 pardons.”

Eggleston continues; “Today, 209 commutation recipients – including 109 individuals who had believed they would live out their remaining days in prison – learned that they will be rejoining their families and loved ones, and 64 pardon recipients learned that their past convictions have been forgiven. These 273 individuals learned that our nation is a forgiving nation, where hard work and a commitment to rehabilitation can lead to a second chance, and where wrongs from the past will not deprive an individual of the opportunity to move forward.”

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President Obama Grants Clemency to 14 Individuals Serving Life in Prison for Drugs

By Drug Policy Alliance

President Obama announcing in a video that he's commuted 46 sentences.
President Obama announcing in a video that he’s commuted 46 sentences.

Today, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 46 people incarcerated in federal prison. This follows the commutation of eight people incarcerated in federal prison for drug offenses in December of 2014, and 22 in March 2015. Fourteen of the people who received commutations today were serving life in prison for nonviolent drug offenses.

In taking this step, the President has now issued nearly 90 commutations, the vast majority of them to non-violent offenders sentenced for drug law violations under draconian sentencing laws. President Obama has been under significant public pressure from advocacy groups and family members of people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses who are serving long, mandatory minimum sentences.

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President Obama Commutes 22 Drug Sentences, Including 8 Lifetime Sentences

President Obamaobama today commuted the sentences of 22 convicted federal drug offenders, including eight serving life sentences. This action doubles the number of commutations the President has issued since taking office in 2009, and is double the total amount of commutations given out by former President Bush during his eight years in office.

“Had they been sentenced under current laws and policies, many of these individuals would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement announcing the commutations. “Because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years — in some cases more than a decade — longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime.”

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