In his final day in office, President Obama granted 330 more commutations, the most in a single day in U.S. history.
The move – which comes just two days after the last batch of clemency – brings the total number of commutations granted by President Obama to 1715; this is well more than the past 12 presidents combined. Included in this commutations were 568 people who were serving life sentences; this means they would have died in prison if not for Obama.
The vast majority of the commuted charges were for drug-related offenses.
For comparison sake, former President George W. Bush granted just 11 commutations, whereas Bill Clinton granted 61
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.
“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.”
President Obama yesterday commuted the sentences of 102 more people, the “vast majority” of which have been in prison for nonviolent drug-related offenses. This brings the total number of pardons granted by Obama to 774, more than the number of commutations issued by the last 11 presidents combined.
“The vast majority of today’s grants were for individuals serving unduly harsh sentences for drug-related crimes under outdated sentencing laws,” said White House counsel Neil Eggleston in a press release. “With today’s grants, the President has commuted 774 sentences, more than the previous 11 presidents combined. With a total of 590 commutations this year, President Obama has now commuted the sentences of more individuals in one year than in any other single year in our nation’s history.”
President Obama has commuted the sentences of 111 people in federal prison over nonviolent drug crimes. 35 of these people were serving life sentences, meaning they would have died in prison if Obama didn’t grant them this pardon.
The 111 commutations brings Obama’s August total to 325, the most ever in a single month. On August 4th he commuted the sentences of 214 people, which was the largest single-day grant of commutations in United States history (67 of these commutations were life sentences). In total, Obama has commuted the sentences of 673 people, well more than the past nine presidents combined.
On Friday, President Obama announced 42 additional grants of clemency to men and women serving years in prison under outdated and unduly harsh drug sentencing laws. 20 of these individuals were set to spend the rest of their life in prison.
To date, the President has commuted the sentences of 348 individuals, 150 more than the previous seven Presidents combined. According to a White House blog post; “He remains committed to using his clemency power throughout the remainder of the Administration to give more deserving individuals that same second chance.”