OBAMA
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Obama announced that he will keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017, casting aside his promise to end the war on his watch and instead ensuring he hands the conflict off to his successor. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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USA President Barack Obama Shortens Prison Sentences For 98 Convicts


Washington: U.S. President Barack Obama shortened the prison sentences for 98 convicts serving time for drug-related offenses in his latest round of commutations, including for 42 people serving life sentences, the White House said on Thursday.

Obama has granted 688 commutations this year, for a total so far of 872 during his presidency, which ends on Jan. 20.

“These are individuals – many of whom made mistakes at a young age – who have diligently worked to rehabilitate themselves while incarcerated,” White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement.

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The commutations are part of Obama’s push to reform the criminal justice system to reduce the number of people serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses.

Obama and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. Congress had tried to work on legislation to reduce mandatory minimum sentences, but those efforts stalled ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

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