WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama granted another 98 commutations of prison sentences, bringing his number of sentences commuted to 872, the White House announced.
Most of those receiving executive clemency were convicted of non-violent drug-related crimes. The commutations are part of a White House effort to bring existing sentences, many issued as strict "mandatory minimums" no longer applicable, in line with current standards. Forty-two of those named on Thursday's list, issued by the Justice Department, were originally sentenced to life imprisonment.
A blog post Thursday by White House Counsel Neal Eggleston said, "The relief granted today also highlights the urgent need for bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation. Only Congress can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure our federal sentencing system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety."
The announcement brings the number of commutations to 200 in October and 688 thus far in 2016, more than the previous 11 presidents combined. It brings the number issued during Obama's presidential tenure to 872.
In recent months, Obama has pushed for criminal justice reform and for an end to mass incarcerations.