By Sari Horwitz for The Washington Post. President Obama commuted the sentences of 95 drug offenders Friday, more than double the number of commutations he granted earlier this year in July, in an effort to reduce prison crowding and give relief to drug offenders who were harshly sentenced in the nation’s war on drugs.
It is the third time this year that the president has used his unique clemency power to release federal drug offenders, whose harsh sentences have contributed to the phenomenon of mass incarceration. Obama granted clemency to 22 drug offenders in March and another 46 in July.
The United States has less than five percent of the world’s population, but nearly a quarter of the world’s prison population. One in 100 adults is behind bars in America, according to the Coalition for Public Safety, a bipartisan criminal justice reform organization.
A White House spokeswoman said that Obama has surpassed the number of 88 commutations granted by the previous four presidents, Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush combined.