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President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 and shortened 153 sentences

President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes.

The greatest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president, the White House said Monday.

president barack obama has pardoned


Obama has been granting commutations at rapid-fire pace in his final months in office, but he has focused primarily on shortening sentences of those convicted of drug offenses rather than giving pardons.

A pardon amounts to forgiveness of a crime that removes restrictions on the right to vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury.

Neil Eggleston, Obama’s White House counsel, said Obama has now pardoned a total of 148 people during his presidency.

Commutation recipients have made the most of his or her time in prison by participating in educational courses, vocational training, and drug treatment, he said. Some will see their sentences end in 2017 or 2018 — long after Obama leaves office — and in some cases on the condition they participate in drug treatment programs.

The commutations were announced as Obama vacations in Hawaii during the holidays. Obama leaves office falling short in efforts to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system.

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the administration had argued that thousands of people were serving sentences disproportionate to their crimes and that the financial toll of incarcerating them increased financial strains for the government.

Eggleston said he expects Obama to issue more commutations and pardons before he leaves office. He called clemency a tool of last resort and said “only Congress can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure over the long run that our criminal justice system operates more fairly and effectively. ”

The pace of commutations generated criticism on the campaign trail earlier this year with President-elect Donald Trump warning voters that their safety could be at risk because of Obama’s move to set prisoners free ahead of schedule. “Some of these people are bad dudes,” Trump said in October after another batch of Obama commutations.

“We need the president to pick up the pace of commutations before he leaves office,” said Michael Collins, a deputy director at the alliance.

Source: Obama sets record, hands out 78 pardons and 153 shortened sentences – ABC15 Arizona