Obama shortens terms for 214 federal prisoners; 67 had life sentences

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President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is cutting short the sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 serving life sentences.

The White House says it’s the largest batch of commutations on a single day in more than a century. Almost all the prisoners were serving time for nonviolent drug offenses.

The commutations bring to 562 the total number of sentences Obama has shortened. The White House says that’s more than the past nine presidents combined. Almost 200 of those who have benefited were serving life sentences.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston says Obama will continue granting clemency to more inmates during the final months of his presidency. He says those receiving commutations were imprisoned under antiquated, overly harsh sentencing laws.

Most of those receiving commutations Wednesday will be released December 1.

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