President Obama just keeps making history.
Moments ago, Obama commuted the sentences of 214 individuals, according to BuzzFeed News. This is the largest amount issued in a single day since at least 1900 from a president. The majority of the individuals were sentenced for nonviolent drug crimes, with 67 of them serving life sentences.
On his Facebook page, the President shared a letter from an inmate who he commuted last year and stated “Too many men and women end up in a criminal justice system that serves up excessive punishments, especially for nonviolent drug offenses.”
With today’s commutations, “Obama has granted a total of 562 commutations—a number that the White House says is more than the previous nine presidents combined.” Some of the prisoners have had their sentences reduced and others have release dates set for the near future, a year or two from now.
“Today’s historic announcement is yet another step in the Administration’s efforts to restore proportionality to unnecessarily long drug sentences,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates told BuzzFeed News. “In just the first eight months of 2016, the president has more than doubled the number of commutations granted in all of 2015. But we are not done yet, and we expect that many more men and women will be given a second chance through the Clemency Initiative.”
Obama is certainly backing up his motto “Yes We Can” and with just 5 ½ months left in office, it doesn’t look like he has any plans of stopping.