WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday commuted the federal sentences of 111 people — making a total of 325 commutations in the month of August and 673 commutations during his presidency.
Obama, who has made the issuance of commutations to address harsh sentencing laws a key element in his presidency, ended August as he began it — by issuing a large batch of more than 100 commutations.
On Aug. 3, Obama issued 214 commutations — a move the White House announced as the most a president had issued in a single day since at least 1900.
On Tuesday, the president issued 111 more commutations. A BuzzFeed News review of the list provided by the White House details that all are serving sentences for convictions of drug crimes or drug-related crimes. The vast majority stem from cocaine, mainly crack cocaine, offenses, although a dozen of Tuesday's commutations include methamphetamine-related offenses and one — out of Florida — is of an LSD-related conviction.
About half of Tuesday's commutations set the prison sentences to end on December 28, 2016. Most of the others reduce the sentences to a shorter term of months, while the remainder set the sentences to end at a specific date in the future beyond 2016. Some come with conditions relating to drug treatment.
Tuesday's commutations are the latest in a series of such moves by Obama after announcing his support in 2014 for a clemency review process to address those serving harsh sentences that they would not be subject to if convicted today. The Clemency Project has led Obama to to grant a series of such commutations beginning in July 2015.