In an effort to reform the criminal justice system, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders, both men and women who were sentenced unjustly and are not “hardened criminals,” he said.
“I believe that at its heart, America is a nation of second chances, and I believe these folks deserve their second chance,” Obama said.
With the move, Barack Obama has commuted more sentences than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson. In a video posted online Monday (July 13), Obama said that under current sentencing guidelines, most of the prisoners would have already served their time but were slapped with long sentences under mandates from the ’80s drug-and-crime wave.
Of the 46 prisoners, most were given a 20 year sentence, 14 were sentenced to life. Most commuted sentences will end in November and will be followed by a several-month transition back into society, which will include living in halfway homes. Upon release, the convicts will be subject to random drug tests and checking in with a probation officer.
Commuting one’s sentence means to shorten it and is not to be confused with a pardon, which erases the criminal history.
In total, President Obama has granted 64 pardons.
BREAKING: President Obama just granted clemency to 46 men and women whose sentences didn’t fit their crimes. Nearly all of these individuals would have already served their time and returned to society if they were convicted of the exact same crime today: http://go.wh.gov/KtwU7f
Posted by The White House on Monday, July 13, 2015