Speed Reads

criminal justice reform

Obama commutes the sentences of 61 drug offenders

President Obama commuted the sentences of 61 federal prisoners serving time for drug crimes on Wednesday, marking the first round of major commutations the White House has planned for this year to reform the criminal justice system. The majority of the inmates will be freed on July 28, and some will be released on March 30, 2017. More than one-third of the inmates were serving life sentences.

"I believe America is a nation of second chances," Obama wrote on Facebook Wednesday, advocating for "hard work, responsibility, and better choices." Obama has now commuted 248 sentences — more than the previous six presidents combined.