Obama commutes 61 prisoners’ sentences, one from Colorado

President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 61 prisoners Wednesday, all convicted of drug-related crimes. Among those who will be released is Aurora’s Sammy Lee Woods.

Woods was sentenced to 240 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release in April of 2004. His charges, like those of the other 61 prisoners whose sentences Obama has commuted, were drug related.

One-third of those whose sentences have been commuted were serving life in prison. Obama says their sentences were too harsh.

In his seven years in office, Obama has commuted the sentences of 248 prisoners, more than any other president in recent history.

The White House released this infographic touting Obama’s record.


In a statement, Obama said, “The power to grant pardons and commutations… embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws.”

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson, Creative Commons, Flickr



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