Monday’s 153 commutations bring Obama’s total during his presidency to 1,176. He has commuted the sentences of 395 people who were serving life sentences. The 78 presidential pardons bring his total pardons to 148. In all, 1,324 individuals have received clemency from Obama, a demonstration of his commitment to use the presidential power of clemency to change lives, and a testament to his belief that America is a nation of second chances.
From the White House blog:
The 231 individuals granted clemency today have all demonstrated that they are ready to make use — or have already made use — of a second chance. While each clemency recipient’s story is unique, the common thread of rehabilitation underlies all of them. For the pardon recipient, it is the story of an individual who has led a productive and law-abiding post-conviction life, including by contributing to the community in a meaningful way. For the commutation recipient, it is the story of an individual who has made the most of his or her time in prison, by participating in educational courses, vocational training, and drug treatment. These are the stories that demonstrate the successes that can be achieved — by both individuals and society — in a nation of second chances.
Obama has made a commitment to continue to exercise his clemency authority through the remainder of his time in office. As the White House blog notes, in 2016 alone he granted clemency to more than 1,000 people. The president continues to review clemency applications on an individual basis, and it is expected that he will grant more commutations and pardons before he leaves office in January.