Obama commutes 330 more criminals on his last day, commuting more criminals than the last 12 presidents combined
“On the ride up Pennsylvania Avenue . . . I told Barack Obama about my frustrations with the pardon system,” Bush wrote in his memoir.
Obama did not seriously focus on pardons and commutations until 2014, two years into his second term. But on Thursday, his last full day in office, Obama announced 330 more commutations, for nonviolent drug offenders, bringing his total number of clemencies to 1,715. He has granted commutations to more people than the past 12 presidents combined, including 568 inmates with life sentences. He has granted 212 pardons. His final group of clemencies was the most Obama granted in a day and the most granted on one day in U.S. history.
“By restoring proportionality to unnecessarily long drug sentences, this administration has made a lasting impact on our criminal justice system,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates. “With 1,715 commutations in total, this undertaking was as enormous as it was unprecedented.”