President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 330 criminals on his last day of office. This is the largest number of commutations ever granted by a president in a single day.
Most of the commutations were granted to people charged with drug-related offenses, according to ABC News.
“I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around,” Obama wrote in a letter to these individuals. “Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity. It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change ... But remember that you have the capacity to make good decisions.“
“There is so much work to be done. Yet I remain hopeful that together, we are moving in the right direction,” wrote Obama. “Crime remains near historic lows, prison populations are decreasing, taxpayer dollars are being better spent, and more Americans are landing on their feet and taking advantage of the second chances they’ve earned.”
In total, Obama commuted the sentences of 1,715 people during his presidency. 568 of those people were serving life sentences. One of the most notable of these commutations was granted to controversial whistleblower Chelsea Manning earlier this week.
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