US President Barack Hussein Obama granted clemency to 231 individuals Monday, the most in a single day by any President in US history.
The Mr Obama announced the commutation aka shortening of sentences for 153 federal inmates and pardons for 78 individuals, most of whom were serving or had served sentences for drug-related crimes.
Pardoned individuals will have certain rights restored and are formally forgiven for their crimes.
The move comes as Mr. Obama prepares to end his 2nd term with a number of actions the White House said reflected the President’s “commitment to exercising his clemency authority.”
“The 231 individuals granted clemency today have all demonstrated that they are ready to make use — or have already made use — of a 2nd chance. While each clemency recipient’s story is unique, the common thread of rehabilitation underlies all of them,” White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said in a blog post.
During his 2 terms, Mr. Obama has commuted the sentences of 1,176 prisoners, including 395 serving life sentences. The President has also granted pardons to 78 individuals bringing his total number of pardons to 148.
The announcement was made during the President and his family’s annual holiday vacation in Hawaii.
Mr. Eggleston indicated the President will likely make more commutations before he leaves office, but the number of requests awaiting response is sizable: there are currently 13,042 requests for commutations and 1,937 pardon applications filed with the Department of Justice’s Office of the Pardon Attorney.
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