As His Final Act, Obama Commutes the Sentences 0f 330 Nonviolent Drug Offenders

As His Final Act, Obama Commutes the Sentences 0f 330 Nonviolent Drug Offenders

By Beatrice Hazlehurst

On his penultimate day as president Obama has shortened the sentences of 330 inmates, the most of any president in a single day.

Even before this move, Obama already held the title of the president to issue the most commutations in US history. He has now granted commutations to 1,715 people -- 568 of whom were serving life-sentences. This new round of commutations follows the shortening of 273 individuals's sentences, including Chelsea Manning and Puerto Rican independence activist, Oscar López Rivera, on Tuesday.

Today's prisoners were all convicted of non-violent drug crimes, reflecting Obama's second-term efforts to rectify the overzealous drug-related sentencing that has plagued the US for several decades. In his final press conference today, Obama reinforced that he believes "people are more good than bad."

"By restoring proportionality to unnecessarily long drug sentences, this administration has made a lasting impact on our criminal justice system," Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates told the Washington Post. "With 1,715 commutations in total, this undertaking was as enormous as it was unprecedented."

"I think there's evil in the world but I think that at the end of the day if we work hard and we're true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, the world gets a little better each time," Obama explained in the press conference. "That's what this presidency has tried to be about."

"At my core, I think we're going to okay."

Ladies and gentlemen say goodnight to a living dream.

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