President Obama Has Now Commuted More Sentences Than the Previous 7 Presidents —Combined
President Barack Obama on Friday commuted the sentences of 42 people convicted of drug-related crimes, saying the individuals were serving prison terms based on "outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws."
Obama's grants of clemency Friday brings the number of commuted sentences he's granted over his time in office to 348 — which the White House said is "more than the previous seven Presidents combined."
Many of those whose sentences Obama reduced were serving life sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.
"He remains committed to using his clemency power throughout the remainder of the Administration to give more deserving individuals that same second chance," the White House wrote in a press release.
Obama has made criminal justice reform a priority during his time in office.
Last July, he called for the reduction or elimination of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug-related offenses.
Earlier this year, he called for an end of putting incarcerated juveniles in solitary confinement.
And he's pushed for banning employers from making potential employees disclose their criminal history in job applications.