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Obama cuts short the sentences of 111 federal inmates

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Barack Obama answered a question during a Aug. 4 news conference at the Pentagon.

WASHINGTON » President Barack Obama cut short today the sentences of 111 federal inmates in another round of commutations for those convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.

Obama has long called for phasing out strict sentences for drug offenses, arguing they lead to excessive punishment and incarceration rates unseen in other developed countries.

White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said the commutations underscored the president’s commitment to using his clemency authority to give deserving individuals a second chance. He said that Obama has granted a total of 673 commutations, more than the previous 10 presidents combined. More than a third of the recipients were serving life sentences.

“We must remember that these are individuals — sons, daughters, parents, and in many cases, grandparents — who have taken steps toward rehabilitation and who have earned their second chance,” Eggleston said. “They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes.”

Eggleston noted that Obama also granted commutation to 214 federal inmates earlier in the month. With Tuesday’s additions, Obama has granted the greatest number of commutations for a single month of any president.

Eggleston says he expects Obama to continue granting commutations through the end of his administration. He said the individualized nature of the relief points to the need for Congress to take up criminal justice reform. Such legislation has stalled and is unlikely to be approved this year.

“Only the passage of legislation can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure our federal sentencing system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety,” Eggleston said.

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  • While we do need to end the drug war, I sure hope he is having someone reliable screen these releases but that may be too high a bar in this administration.

    • Federal prisoners aren’t allowed to vote. Timing of their release is perfect, they’ll be voting Democrat the minute they step out of prison and also will push along with HiLAIRy to revoke the 2nd amendment so only they can carry guns.

      While I do agree that the war on drugs is a waste, these are no small time offenders in the federal prison system, they are usually the bigger fish that left hundreds of lives ruined if not dead due to their mass distribution of lethal drugs. Small time dealers and users don’t end up in federal prison.

  • Regarding: “…unseen in other developed countries.”

    So… is that how we run our country?
    We put up with krap at is “unseen in other developed countries.”
    So.. let’s put an end to being too “soft”.

    We put up with “entitlements”… unseen in other developed countries too.
    We definitely should stop handouts to undeserving freeloaders.

  • What its the world is little Barry’s obsession with releasing drug dealers all about? Not a word about the victims or the victims families in this AP article. Like the offenders I would imagine many victims are “sons, daughters, parents, and in many cases, grandparents” as well. It would be interesting to see a profile spectrum of those released to get some details on the nature of the offenses. I guess by calling the drug offenses “non-violent” it is supposed to generate sympathy for the offenders.

  • ….”Obama has granted a total of 673 commutations, more than the previous 10 presidents combined. More than a third of the recipients were serving life sentences.”
    As the Missing Link would say…”ooOOOOHHHH YEAHHHHhhhh”

  • Second chance? I wonder how many prior convictions the inmates had before their most recent sentences. My guess is that they each had many so-called second chances.

  • What bugs me is his advisers remark that other countries do not have stiff sentence against drug dealers. We follow the lead of other countries instead of leading? We have lowered ourselves to 3rd world status follow others?

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