Obama hits 1,000 mark for commutations granted

President Barack Obama speaks at McKinley High School in Baton Rouge, La., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Barack Obama speaks at McKinley High School in Baton Rouge, La., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Obama surpasses 1,000 mark for total commutations granted after shortening sentences for 79 people.

Obama has been granting commutations at a rapid-fire pace in his final months in office. The White House says 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 says “it makes no sense” for nonviolent drug offenders to serve decades in prison or life sentences. He says it burdens taxpayers and overcrowded prisons without benefiting public safety.

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

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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