In what is his last year serving as the president of the United States, Barack Obama has been ensuring that he will leave a legacy behind beyond the rather threadbare version of the Affordable Care Act that was finally pushed through. Yes, Obama has done a great job of inspiring millions along the way with his words, but he’s also done a lot of great things throughout his presidency. One of those great things has been showing leniency to unfair prison sentences during his term. How much so?
More than the last seven presidents combined, the White House reports. On June 3, Obama announced an additional 43 grants of clemency to men and women serving long sentences in prison due to what is described as outdated and overly harsh sentencing laws. That brings the amount of sentences that have been commuted by Obama up to a whopping 348. Obama wants to be remembered as a compassionate president, reminding us that America is about second chances.
The White House goes on to explain that most of the sentences that have been commuted by Obama were for non-violent offenders serving lengthy prison sentences thanks to older laws. The president is pushing for reform when it comes to these laws and for keeping people out of prison to help rebuild their lives.
“Despite these important efforts, only legislation can bring about lasting change to the federal system. There remain thousands of men and women in federal prison serving sentences longer than necessary, often due to overly harsh mandatory minimum sentences. That is one reason it is critical that both the House and the Senate continue to cooperate on a bipartisan basis to get a criminal justice reform bill to the president’s desk.”
(Via The White House)