Criminal Justice

Obama commutes 330 more sentences, surpasses total of last 13 presidents combined

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Barack Obama

Photo of President Barack Obama by Evan El-Amin /

President Barack Obama granted 330 more commutations on Thursday, his last full day in office, in what is the largest single set of commutations during his presidency.

In all, Obama commuted the sentences of 1,715 individuals, more than any other president in history and more than the last 13 presidents combined, according to White House counsel Neil Eggleston, writing at the White House Blog. Most of the commutations were in drug cases.

“The president set out to reinvigorate clemency,” Eggleston wrote, “and he has done just that.”

Among today’s cert grants, 189 were supported by Clemency Project 2014, a national pro bono initiative, according to a press release. Among the president’s 1,715 commutations, 894 were supported by Clemency Project 2014.

The project reviewed the cases of more than 36,000 prisoners and submitted nearly 2,600 pardon petitions. The project included lawyers from the ABA.

Eggleston acknowledged the work of Clemency Project 2014 and the Stanford Justice Advocacy Project, which will assist prisoners after their release. “The president’s vision could not have been realized without this support,” he wrote.

Related articles: “Obama’s overlooked last-minute commutation lifts death sentence for disabled inmate” “Obama commutes sentence of Chelsea Manning, convicted of leaking classified information” “Obama grants 78 pardons and 153 commutations, setting one-day record”

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