(CNN)-President Barack Obama granted 330 commutations, the White House announced Thursday, the most commutations given in a single day by a US president.
In his final day in office, 24 hours before President-elect Donald Trump would come into office, President Barack Obama set out to make one last headline as President of the United States.
President Obama cut short the sentences of 330 federal inmates, setting the record for most commutations in a single day. Doing so brought his total number of commutations to 1,715, more than the past ten presidents combined.
Among these 1,715 inmates, 568 of them were sentenced to life.
Obama has been pushing for criminal justice reform, stating that the war on drugs and mandatory minimum sentences have caused mass incarceration. The United States of America has the largest prison population in the world, with over 2 million prisoners.
Ronald Moon was one of these former inmates, sentenced to life behind bars; things were looking bleak. Moon once had a bright future ahead of him as a football player. He was never able to make his dream of playing in the NFL a reality. Out of depression, Moon turned to cocaine and quickly got addicted. With no job, He began selling cocaine and other drugs to fuel his addiction.
After getting being arrested a couple of times, and being sober for a while, he was arrested again and was slapped with the mandatory minimum sentence. Life in prison. Moon never committed a violent crime. After almost 12 years, on December 1, 2016, President Barack Obama granted Ronald Moon clemency. He now lives happily with his family once again, helping his grandchildren train to become NFL superstars.
This is just one of the many lives president Obama has changed in his eight years in office.
Obama was the first president to visit a federal prison. Sometimes sitting down with inmates and listening to their stories and what they had to say. He showed compassion for those who put in the work and the effort to become better people.
Obama reviewed each of these sentences that he commuted extensively. He would often stay up late into the night, consulting lawyers, and pondering over the details about the cases.
There is more federal incarcerations for drug related incidents than there are for homicide, kidnapping, robbery, rape, arson, etc. combined.
Most of the 330 sentences commuted by Obama were non-violent drug related offenses. Obama has been trying to phase out severe sentences for drug offenses, believing that they lead to long and excessive sentences and leading to high incarceration rates that are rarely seen in highly developed countries.
Though President Obama’s term may be over, He was able to change the lives of more American people one last time.