- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - President Barack Obama has cut short the sentences 111 federal inmates, including eight Illinoisans, in his latest round of commutations for those convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.

The White House says those from Illinois include Rudy Martinez of Chicago. He was sentenced to life in 1992 for conspiracy and drug distribution, among other charges. He’s now expected to be released in December.

Other Illinois inmates are from Champaign, Sauk Village, Rockford and Rock Island.

The White House says Obama has commuted 673 prison sentences, more commutations than the previous 10 presidents combined. More than a third of those whose sentences were shortened were serving life.

Obama has long called for phasing out strict sentences for drug offenses, arguing they lead to excessive punishment and incarceration rates unseen in other developed countries.

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