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President Obama holds a year-end press conference addressing email hacking and cyber security at The White House on December 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. Leigh Vogel—WireImage
Leigh Vogel—WireImage

President Obama issued the largest single day executive clemency grant on Monday by shortening the sentences of 153 people and pardoning 78 others.

The recipients of executive clemency were largely drug offenders, which aligns with President Obama’s goal of rolling back the harsh penalties instituted during the war on drugs.

The president has so far granted clemency to 1,176 people, according to an updated count provided to the Associated Press, 395 of those individuals had been serving life sentences. The majority of the president’s grants have been commutations, which shorten prisoners sentences but do not strip them of guilt. The inclusion of 78 pardons, which forgive offenses, is notable. The pardon recipients were largely low level offenders; committed drug related crimes and others committed mail fraud and animal trafficking crimes.


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