Earlier this month, President Obama commuted the sentences of 214 inmates — the greatest number of commutations ever granted by a sitting president in a single day.
Yesterday, the commander-in-chief shortened the prison sentences of another 111 federal inmates, 35 of whom were expected to spend life in prison.
To date, President Obama has granted 673 commutations. And according to the White House’s official website, President Obama will continue offering commutations through the remainder of his term in office.
This wave of pardons reaffirms the President’s objective to effect change in the justice system and to institute better practices in prison.
Last week, the DOJ declared that incarcerating people who could not afford a fine, bail, or other debts was unconstitutional, citing a violation to the Fourteenth Amendment.
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The DOJ has also gone after private prisons. Just days ago, they announced a plan to end use of the facilities finding that, “They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources.”
While the administration celebrates the fact that President Obama has made more commutations than the previous 10 presidents combined, they understand that true criminal justice reform comes from bipartisan efforts across the aisle.
In statement from the White House, White House Counsel to the President, Neil Eggleston wrote, “…the individualized nature of this relief highlights the need for bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation, including reforms that address excessive mandatory minimum sentences.”