Obama continues to push hard for legal reform during his final days as President.
President Obama granted either pardons or commutations to a total of 231 people on Monday, making for the most issuances of clemency in a single day by any U.S. president. He has taken part in more cases of clemency than the previous 11 presidents combined. Many of those affected by yesterday's decisions are currently serving time for nonviolent drug-related offenses. Obama has made a concerted effort to reduce the stringent sentences given to such offenders.
Obama issued 153 commutations and 78 pardons yesterday, as reported by White House Counsel Neil Eggleston, who said, "The 231 individuals granted clemency today have all demonstrated that they are ready to make use -- or have already made use -- of a second chance."
Many of the commutations involved the dismissal of life sentences in favor of lesser time in prison as well as other means of punishment. Obama has now cut short a total of 395 life sentences.
Yesterday's unprecedented wave of clemency seems to suggest that Obama is making a final push toward reforming the punishments handed down to nonviolent drug offenders, an initiative that is not expected to be followed once Donald Trump takes office on January 20, 2017.
Head here for a case-by-case look at the commutations granted by Obama yesterday.