The latest round of commutations are part of an aggressive program to review non-violent drug related cases.
President Obama granted another 79 commutations on Tuesday, bringing his total number of federal inmates clemency grants to federal inmates to more than 1,000 with less than two months left in his presidency.
The ambitious review of drug-related sentences will continue until his final day, administration officials said. All whose sentences were forgiven this week were convicted of drug-related crimes — 18 of which were serving life sentences.
“At the heart of America is the idea that we’re all imperfect. We all make mistakes. We have to take responsibility and learn from those mistakes. And we as a society have to make sure that people who do take responsibility for their mistakes are able to earn a second chance to contribute to our communities and our country,” Mr. Obama wrote in a Facebook post announcing the latest round of commutations.
“It’s the right thing to do.”
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The White House said it was on pace to finish reviewing more than 6,000 applications for drug-related clemency. Any applications not approved by Obama will pass onto President-Elect Trump, and it is not clear what his actions would be —especially after he picked the controversial Sen. Jeff Session as his attorney general.
White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said that Obama has commuted more sentences this year than in any other single year in U.S. history. He added that his total was more than the previous 11 presidents combined.