President Obama has commuted the sentences of another 111 convicted felons. Of those 111, 35 were serving life sentences. For the past two years, the Obama Administration has worked with the Department of Justice to go through a backlog of drug cases and consider the thousands of clemency applications. The applications apply mostly to nonviolent drug offenders who would have received lighter sentences had they been arrested today. So far, 671 inmates have been commuted, which is more than the past 10 presidents. Earlier this month, Obama commuted the sentence of 214 inmates, and Blavity was able to obtain an exclusive letter from one of them.

Despite the harsh critiques from prison advocates who don’t believe that the clemency program is working fairly for all, the DOJ will be able to consider applications from all drug criminals before Obama leaves office in 2017. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates told NPR, “At our current pace, we are confident that we will be able to review and make a recommendation to the president on every single drug petition we currently have.”

The President has taken this step toward clemency very seriously, reviewing very application before it’s granted clemency. White House Counsel Neil Eggleston revealed: “The president’s view is that he would like to grant as many worthy petitions as get to his desk and I think he’s going to tell me to put worthy petitions on his desk until the last day, and that’s what I intend to do.”

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