President Obama appears to be taking full advantage of his victory lap as he’s in the home stretch of his presidency. Earlier this month, he granted commutations to 214 non-violent offenders to offer them a second chance to rejoin society. While he already had a lead and granted the most commutations out of any recent U.S. President, he’s no widened the gap considerably.
Obama granted another 111 commutations this past Tuesday, leading to a grand total of 325 granted in the month go August alone. To date, he’s offered 673 commutations, according to the White House.
“They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes, for example, the 35 individuals whose life sentences were commuted today,” White House Counsel Neil Eggleston in the post. “For each of these applicants, the President considers the individual merits of each application to determine that an applicant is ready to make use of his or her second chance.”
Obama’s efforts to repair the criminal justice system, and particularly the long-lasting effects of the war on drugs, are commendable. He’s clearly trying to bridge noticeable gaps that Congress has failed to. Most of the inmates who received commutations this month were serving time on drug charges.
Only time will tell how these actions, along with the others he has made during his tenure, will affect the criminal justice system in the long run.
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