President Obama has officially completed the largest act of clemency in a single day by any president in U.S. history. The POTUS granted clemency to 231 inmates Monday (Dec. 19), commuting sentences of 153 individuals and approving 78 pardons.
To date, Obama has commuted the sentences of 1,176 individuals (most of which were in 2016), including almost 400 life sentences. He also approved pardons for 148 people thus far.
Those granted clemency demonstrated a willingness “to make use — or have already made use — of a second chance,” according to the White House website.
“For the pardon recipient, it is the story of an individual who has led a productive and law-abiding post-conviction life, including by contributing to the community in a meaningful way,” reads an article written by Neil Eggleston, White House Counsel to the President. “For the commutation recipient, it is the story of an individual who has made the most of his or her time in prison, by participating in educational courses, vocational training, and drug treatment. These are the stories that demonstrate the successes that can be achieved — by both individuals and society — in a nation of second chances.
Regardless of Obama’s efforts, America still holds its title as the most incarcerated country in the world locking up more than 2 million people, which includes juveniles.