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Obama shortens prison sentences for 61 drug offenders

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is commuting the prison sentences of 61 people serving time for drug-related offenses.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston says more than a third of the inmates were serving life sentences. Obama’s commutation shortens their sentences. Most will be released July 28.

All of the inmates are serving time for drug possession, intent to sell or related crimes. Most are nonviolent offenders, although a few were also charged with firearms violations.

The commutations bring to 248 the number of inmates whose sentences Obama has commuted. The White House says that’s more than the past six presidents combined.

Obama will meet Wednesday with people whose sentences were previously commuted under Obama or under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The White House says they’ll discuss re-entering society after incarceration.