NEARLY one hundred prisoners have had their sentences commuted as President Obama pushes on with his pledge to go against the excesses of those previously in office.
Two full pardons were granted by the US leader, White House officials said, as Obama builds on his push to re-orient the nation’s criminal justice system.
The commutations are the most Mr Obama has ever done at once and will more than double his total count since taking office, now standing at 184.
Forty prisoners who once faced life in prison, will now be freed.
Obama gave the promise of release to more prisoners than his four predecessors, a minuscule number compared to the tens of thousands who applied.
The President is pressing for a rewrite of criminal justice laws to curb the steep penalties for nonviolent offences like drug crimes.
Each prisoners received a letter from Mr Obama in which he wrote: “I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around.
“Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity.”
He said the road ahead “will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change”.
“But remember that you have the capacity to make good choices.”