Obama hits 1,000 mark for commutations granted

President Barack Obama waves as he walks towards Marine One.

President Barack Obama waves as he walks towards Marine One.  (AP)

President Barack Obama on Tuesday surpassed the 1,000 mark for commutations granted during his presidency after shortening sentences for 79 people.

Obama has been granting commutations at rapid-fire pace in his final months in office. The White House said he’s commuted more sentences than the past 11 presidents combined.

Most of those who have received clemency are nonviolent drug offenders, though many were also convicted of firearms violations related to drug crimes.

Obama has said “it makes no sense” for nonviolent drug offenders to serve decades in prison or life sentences. He said it burdens taxpayers and overcrowded prisons without benefiting public safety.

Obama is calling for a criminal justice overhaul to address what he deems as overly onerous sentencing and other problems. Congress has shown bipartisan interest but hasn’t acted on those reforms.

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