Tuesday 6 December 2016

Barack Obama shortens sentences for 98 convicts serving time for drug-related offences

Published 27/10/2016 | 22:58

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S. President Barack Obama shortened the prison sentences for 98 convicts serving time for drug-related offences in his latest round of commutations, including for 42 people serving life sentences, the White House said on Thursday.

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Obama has granted 688 commutations this year, for a total so far of 872 during his presidency, which ends on Jan. 20.

"These are individuals - many of whom made mistakes at a young age - who have diligently worked to rehabilitate themselves while incarcerated," White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement.

The commutations are part of Obama's push to reform the criminal justice system to reduce the number of people serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses.

Obama and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. Congress had tried to work on legislation to reduce mandatory minimum sentences, but those efforts stalled ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive on stage during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards Dinner on September 17, 2016
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive on stage during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards Dinner on September 17, 2016

Reuters

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