Washington (S2N Media) President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentences of 46 drug offenders, saying in a video posted online Monday July 13th, that the men and women were not "hardened criminals" and their punishments didn't match the crimes they committed.
Obama said the move was part of his larger attempt to reform the criminal justice system, including reviewing sentencing laws and reducing punishments for non-violent crimes.
"I believe that at its heart, America is a nation of second chances, and I believe these folks deserve their second chance," Obama said in the video.
The move brings the number of Obama's commutations to nearly 90.
Of the 46 prisoners whose sentences were commuted on Monday, 13 were sentenced to prison for life.
A majority of those commuted sentences will now end in November. Post-release includes a several month transition period that officials said allocates time for arrangements to be made in halfway homes and other facilities.
Unlike a presidential pardon, a commutation does not erase a criminal conviction, only reduces a sentence. In his presidency Obama has granted 64 pardons.