Obama Commutes 102 More Prison Sentences, Surpasses Total for 11 Previous Presidents Combined
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will be commuting 102 additional prison sentences, mostly for drug-related crimes under outdated sentencing laws, the White House announced today.
This brings the total of number of commuted sentences to 774 during Obama’s presidency — more than the 11 previous presidents combined — and 590 in 2016 alone, more than any other year in U.S. history.
The president will continue reviewing individual cases throughout the rest of his term, according to a post on the White House blog by White House Counsel Neil Eggleston.
“Commutations can be a powerful tool to rectify specific cases,” Eggleston noted. “But the individualized nature of this relief highlights the need for bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation.”
The commutations will not be effective immediately, as some inmates will remain in prison until October 2018.
The inmates who were granted clemency spanned from North Dakota to Missouri, with sentences ranging from tens of years to life in prison.
Ricky Gene Minor, of Niceville, Florida, was sentenced to life without parole for a nonviolent drug offense in 2001. He was featured in an American Civil Liberties Union report titled “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses,” and the ACLU represented him in his application.
Minor has spent the last 15 years in prison, according to the ACLU, and he has earned a GED and has taken classes in computer skills, business, real estate and accounting.
“I have become a better man over the last 15 years,” Minor said regarding the commutation, according to ACLU. “I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be the person I am now out in the world.”
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