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President Barack Obama on Thursday authorized the release of 102 nonviolent drug offenders who were serving long federal prison sentences, the Washington Post reports.

The decision is the latest round of ongoing commutations by the president. In all, he has commuted the sentences of 774 federal inmates—more than the last 11 presidents combined. The president plans to continue releasing carefully selected prisoners until his term ends.

The Justice Department has received thousands of clemency requests under the initiative that the Obama administration launched in April 2014. Federal prisoners are considered for clemency if they were convicted of nonviolent crimes and would have received much shorter sentences under today’s sentencing laws.

Criminal justice reform advocates applauded the president.

“We’ve known for quite a while that too many low-level offenders were getting absurdly long sentences. To see some finally getting fairer sentences is exciting,” Kevin Ring, vice president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, told The Post.

These advocates are urging Congress to pass legislation to reverse mandatory sentencing laws. Recently, lawmakers have been surprisingly bipartisan in moving toward passing criminal justice reform legislation.

SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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