Obama cuts short the sentences of 111 federal inmates

President Obama

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has cut short the prison sentences of 111 federal inmates in another round of commutations for those convicted of nonviolent drug offenses

Obama has long called for phasing out strict sentences for drug offenses, arguing they lead to excessive punishment and incarceration rates unseen in other developed countries.

White House Counsel Neil Eggleston says the commutations underscore the president’s commitment to using his clemency authority to give deserving individuals a second chance.

He says that Obama has granted a total of 673 commutations, more than the previous 10 presidents combined. More than a third of the recipients were serving life sentences.

Eggleston says he expects Obama to continue granting commutations through the end of his administration, but only legislation can ensure the federal sentencing system operates more fairly.