President Barack Obama is commuting the sentences of 95 offenders and pardoning two more in a year-end spree. Almost all of those receiving commuted sentences are non-violent drug offenders. Many were convicted of distributing or possessing cocaine or crack-cocaine. Obama is also pardoning an Ohio man sentenced to probation in a counterfeiting case and a Virginia woman sentenced to home detention and supervised release in a bank fraud case. The commutations are the most that Obama has issued at once time.
The commutations aim to build momentum for Obama's broader push on criminal justice reform. Obama has sought to alleviate overcrowding in US prisons by easing steep punishments for non-violent offenders. The White House has been working with lawmakers from both parties in an effort to overhaul US sentencing. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)