WASHINGTON, (UPI) — As part of his “second chance” initiative, President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the prison sentences of more than 100 nonviolent drug offenders, setting a new monthly record.
Obama announced the commutations of 111 more individuals, bringing the August total to 325. Thirty-five of those who were granted relief Tuesday had been 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,” the White House said in a statement. “They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes.”
“Congress must act to enact a fairer federal sentencing system,” the White House added in a tweet Tuesday.
The total number of commutations Obama has granted since taking office is 673 — more than the past 10 presidents combined.
“While I expect that the President will continue to grant commutations through the end of this administration, the individualized nature of this relief highlights the need for bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation, including reforms that address excessive mandatory minimum sentences,” White House counsel Neil Eggleston wrote in a statement. “Only the passage of legislation can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure our federal sentencing system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety.”
Copyright 2016 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.