- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

President Obama granted another 79 commutations Tuesday in his record-breaking year of clemency, including 16 individuals who were convicted of firearms offenses.

The action brings Mr. Obama’s total number of commutations to 1,023, far more than any other president in history, as he seeks to ease the punishment on many federal inmates convicted of drug offenses. About one-third of those receiving clemency were serving life prison terms for nonviolent offenses.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston said Mr. Obama set out in 2014 “to reinvigorate the way the executive branch approaches clemency.”

“He exceeded what he set out to do,” Mr. Eggleston said.

Deputy attorney general Sally Yates said the president will continue to grant more commutations through the end of his term in January. She said there are still 6,300 petitions pending for consideration.

“Our work is still not done,” she said.

Rep. John Conyers, Michigan Democrat and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, praised Mr. Obama for building on his legacy of criminal-justice reform.

“I commend him for showing compassion for those who deserve to have their sentences abbreviated. It is fair and just,” Mr. Conyers said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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