WASHINGTON (UPI) — President Obama commuted the federal prison sentences of 102 inmates on Thursday, the latest in a historic move to cut the number of drug offenders in the federal prison system.
“The vast majority of today’s grants were for individuals serving unduly harsh sentences for drug-related crimes under outdated sentencing laws,” White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement. “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.”
Most of the commutations are known as “term” commutations, which only reduce the time an inmate will serve, not grant them an immediate release.
“The individualized nature of this relief highlights the need for bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation,” Eggleston continued. “These include reforms that address the excessive mandatory minimum sentences that imprisoned many of the individuals receiving commutation today. 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.”