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As Barack Obama‘s final term comes to a close, the President has held true to his vows of clemency and pardon to offenders throughout the nation. On Tuesday, August 31, he granted clemency to a total of 111 non-violent offenders, including a batch of 35 prisoners who expected to spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

The bulk of this batch of commutes applies mainly to non-violent offenders who would receive much lighter sentences had they been convicted now.

These grants of clemency bring the Obama administration to a total of 673 commutations, more than the last 10 presidents combined.


“At our current pace, we are confident that we will be able to review and make a recommendation to the president on every single drug petition we currently have,” said Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates as he spoke with NPR on the backlog of prisoner applications.

This move by the President has presented a new hope amid doubts that all applicants would be thoroughly reviewed before the Obama leaves office in January of 2017.

According to White House Counsel Neil Eggleston, President Obama examines each petition carefully to fully decide whether or not each applicant deserves to have a second chance, taking into account their record in addition to the behavior behind bars.

“The president’s view is that he would like to grant as many worthy petitions as get to his desk and I think he’s going to tell me to put worthy petitions on his desk until the last day, and that’s what I intend to do,” Eggleston said.