After 8 years of successfully leading our country, President Barack Obama’s final day has arrived and apparently he wanted to go out with a grand finale hoorah!
On Thursday, Barack Obama commuted 330 prison sentences making him the first President in US history to grant such significant commutations in a single day. According to the White House Obama has commuted more people’s sentences than the last 13 presidents combined. He has granted 212 pardons and a final total of 1,385 prison sentences with 568 people who were serving life sentences. Within those numbers, those serving death sentences have been commuted to life sentences. A commutation of a prison sentence is a reduction in sentence. “He wanted to do it. He wanted the opportunity to look at as many as he could to provide relief,” Neil Eggleston, Obama’s White House counsel, told the Associated Press. “He saw the injustice of the sentences that were imposed in many situations, and he has a strong view that people deserve a second chance.”
This was the second commutation this week as on Tuesday, President Obama commuted for transgender Army soldier Chelsea Manning who was serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking 750,000 pages of classified documents and video to WiKiLeaks. Chelsea Manning will be released on May 17th; on Thursday she thanked the President via Twitter saying:
“Thank you @BarackObama for giving me a chance. =,),” she tweeted.
“The power to grant pardons and commutations … embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws.”-President Obama
Drug offenders are 50% of the total prison population and tax-payers like us spend $80 Billion a year to keep people behind bars. I for one would like to see my money being used in a more vital way such as ending homelessness, not keeping non-violent people behind bars for a staggering amount of time. President Obama, we thank you and Job Well Done!