President Obama on Monday pardoned 78 people and given to other 153 commutations, in which most acts of clemency granted by a U.S. President ever in a single day.
White House Counsel Neil Eggleston announced the decisions in an official blog post. He described all persons pardoned or their sentences reduced “earned.”
“The 231 persons granted the grace of today, all have shown that they are willing to use – or have already made use of – a second chance,” he wrote.
He also said a preview, additional mild decisions in the coming weeks: “I expect the President to further grants of the two commutations, and pardons before he leaves office.”
The decisions could fuel criticism from the right, after an election, the winner of Donald Trump embarked on a law-and-order message, and suggested that the authorities were too soft on crime
But Obama, the granting of commutations to the rapid-fire pace in his last months in office, focusing primarily on the reduction of sentences of those convicted of drug offences rather than apology was.
Pardons amount to forgiveness for a crime that removes restrictions on the right to vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury. The pardon also reduces the stigma of conviction.
Eggleston said Obama has pardoned a total of 148 people during his presidency and has penalties reduced the rates of 1,176 messages people, including 395 life-long freedom.
Eggleston said any grace recipient’s story is unique, but a common thread of the rehabilitation is based, all of them. Sorry-have shown the receiver, you have led the life of a productive and law-abiding post-conviction, including a contribution to the community in a meaningful way, he said.
The commutations were announced, as Obama vacations in Hawaii over the holidays.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.