Obama reduces prison sentences of 46 convicts

US President Obama grants commutations to 46 convicted drug traffickers claiming their sentences too harsh

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

United States President Barack Obama granted commutations to 46 convicted drug traffickers on Monday, arguing that the original sentences given to them were quite harsh.

He added that the sentence is based on outdated laws.

Obama has granted a total of 89 commutations to sentenced convicts throughout his presidency, which makes him the president with the most commutations..

Majority of those granted commutation by the president have been non-violent drug offenders.

“These men and women were not hardened criminals,” said Obama.

"But the overwhelming majority had been sentenced to at least 20 years; 14 of them had been sentenced to life for nonviolent drug offenses, so their punishments didn't fit the crime."

Obama further said that if the convicts had been sentenced under current laws, most of them would have already served their time by now.

“I believe these folks deserve their second chance,” Obama added.

Only selected requests for commutation were accepted by the administration, among thousands of applications.

"I believe in your ability to prove the doubters wrong, and change your life for the better," Obama said to the selected applicants.

US Senator Dick Durbin responded to the commutation decision, saying, "In far too many cases in our justice system, the punishments don't fit the crimes," adding that the action was an “important step.”

"This has led to an explosion of the US prison population and is oftentimes unfair, fiscally irresponsible and even a threat to public safety."

TRTWorld and agencies