(NBC News) President Barack Obama shortened the sentences Friday of 42 people serving time for drug-related offenses, continuing a push for clemency that has ramped up in the final year of his administration.
Roughly half of the 42 receiving commutations Friday were serving life sentences. Most are nonviolent offenders, although a few were also charged with firearms violations. The White House said many of them would have already finished their sentences if they had been sentenced under current, less onerous sentencing guidelines.
The latest group of commutations brings to 348 the total number of inmates whose sentences Obama has commuted — more than the past seven presidents combined, the White House said. The pace of commutations and the rarer use of pardons are expected to increase as the end of Obama's presidency nears.
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