President Barack Obama cut the prison sentences of 46 non-violent offenders on Monday, including 14 who were serving life sentences, saying “their punishments didn’t fit the crime.” “These men and women were not hardened criminals,” Obama said in a video released by the White House. He said the overwhelming majority of the 46 had been sentenced to at least 20 years.
The move was part of a broader effort by the administration to make the U.S. criminal justice system fairer. Obama has now issued nearly 90 commutations during his presidency, most of them to non-violent offenders sentenced for drug crimes under outdated sentencing guidelines. A commutation leaves the conviction in place, but ends the punishment.