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Obama commutes 153 sentences, pardons 78 prisoners in largest-ever act of clemency

President Obama on Monday commuted the sentences of 153 prisoners convicted of federal crimes and pardoned 78 others, marking the largest act of clemency in a single day ever by a U.S. president.

White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement Monday that all 231 individuals who benefited from Obama's acts were "deserving," and that they "have all demonstrated that they are ready to make use — or have already made use — of a second chance."

Obama has commuted far more sentences than his predecessors, shortening 1,176 sentences over eight years, though he has pardoned only 148 prisoners. Eggleston said Obama would likely grant more commutations and pardons before he leaves office, which is in 31 days.