President Obama Commutes the Sentences of 98 People, Bringing His Total to 872

Press Release October 26, 2016
Media Contact

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<p>Tony Newman 646-335-5384</p>

Today, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 98 people incarcerated in federal prison serving time under outdated and harsh drug sentences. This brings his total number of clemencies granted to 872 people.

President Obama has been pushed to do more to release those serving time in prison under harsh drug laws.

“This continued historic commutation of prisoners by President Obama is needed to correct the inherent racial disparities in our criminal justice system,” said Tony Papa, media relations manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, who was granted clemency in New York State in 1997 after serving 12 years under the Rockefeller Drug Laws for a first-time nonviolent drug offense. Papa just released his new book, “This Side of Freedom: Life after Clemency,” which speaks about the roadblocks he faced when he was released. “It’s a sure sign of the President’s compassion for those who are rehabilitated and ready to come home to their families.”

“It's great to see the President step up the frequency of commutation announcements,” said Michael Collins, deputy director at DPA's Office of National Affairs. “He may only have less than three months left in office, but that’s plenty of time to bring more people home.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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