President Grants Commutations to 209 Federal Prisoners

January 17, 2017 6:15 pm

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WASHINGTON —President Obama today announced 209 grants of commutation, bringing the total number in his eight years in office to 1,385. The recipients include American Civil Liberties Union client Chelsea Manning. Of the 209 commutations, 109 were granted to people serving life without parole.

Robert Booker had no criminal history when he was sentenced to life without parole for a nonviolent drug offense. The ACLU featured Booker in “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses.”

“I was sentenced to death, not life, if you ask me,” Booker said in his 2013 interview for the report. “You’re just waiting until that day you die.” Booker has been in federal prison since 1995. His four children have grown up without him, and he has never met his grandchildren.

“Today President Obama gave hope to 209 prisoners serving sentences that are far too long for their offenses,” said Jennifer Turner, author of “A Living Death” and principal human rights researcher for the ACLU. “The president has made it possible for them to rebuild lives that have been devastated by the failed war on drugs.”

“President Obama has again used commutation to reunite families. We are grateful to President Obama, and we are hopeful for more commutations in his final days in office,” said Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union and four other organizations.

Of today’s 209 grants, 100 were in cases supported by Clemency Project 2014. Of President Obama’s 1,385 total grants, the project supported 705.

For “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses,” visit:

For more information about Clemency Project 2014, visit:

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