Obama cuts short sentences for another 98 federal inmates

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks about the release of Americans by Iran, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. A $400 million cash delivery to Iran to repay a decades-old arbitration claim may be unprecedented in recent U.S. history, according to legal experts and diplomatic historians, raising further questions about a payment timed to help free four American prisoners in Iran. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks about the release of Americans by Iran, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. A $400 million cash delivery to Iran to repay a decades-old arbitration claim may be unprecedented in recent U.S. history, according to legal experts and diplomatic historians, raising further questions about a payment timed to help free four American prisoners in Iran. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is cutting short the sentences of 98 federal inmates as part of his ongoing push to grant clemency during his final months in office.

The latest round brings to 872 the number of sentences Obama has commuted, including 688 this year. The White House says it’s more than the previous 11 presidents combined.

Almost all of those receiving commutations were convicted of drug-related offenses. Most are considered nonviolent offenders, although some were convicted of firearms charges in connection with drug crimes.

More than three dozen had been serving life sentences.

But Obama isn’t setting them all free right away. Many of those receiving commutations will see their sentences end in October 2018, almost two years into the next president’s term.

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