Obama grants clemency to 231 people in his largest single day act as President

He has has now granted the most acts of clemency since President Harry Truman.

Obama grants clemency to 231 people in his largest single day act as President

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. | Image: Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP/Press Association Images

President Barack Obama has granted clemency to 231 people in a record-breaking final act.

In total, President Obama has granted 1,324 people clemency while in office.

Obama granted 153 commutations, bringing the total number of commutations while he's been in office to 1,176, including 395 life sentences.
 
A majority of the commutations involved drug related charges.
 
Obama also granted pardons to 78 individuals, doubling his previous number of pardons for a total of 148.
 
White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said that he expects the President to issue further grants of commutations and pardons before leaving the White House.
 
Most of the sentences were for long, mandatory-minimum drug sentences imposed during a war on drugs waged over the past three decades.
 
Obama began his clemency initiative in 2014 as a way to shorten the sentences of drug offenders given what he considered to be unduly harsh sentences. That effort has felt a new urgency since the election of Donald Trump, who has named as his attorney general one of the biggest critics of Obama's use of commutations.
 
"The president is playing a dangerous game to advance his political ideology," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said after Obama granted a single-day record 214 commutations in August.
 
Obama has now granted the most acts of clemency since President Harry Truman.