Two Kansans are among the group, plus several from the Kansas City area

President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced the commutation of the sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 life sentence.  This is the single largest one day cut short the sentences of 214 federal inmates in what the White House called the largest batch of commutations on a single day in more than a century.

Overwhelmingly, the prisoners were serving terms for non-violent drug crimes.  It wasn’t unusual to find many of the individuals who sentences were commuted serving 20, 30 and 40 year sentences.  Sixty-seven were serving life sentences. 

Today’s commutations brings the total of commutations issued by Obama two 562.  That’s more than the past nine presidents combined, the White House said. 

“All of the individuals receiving commutation today — incarcerated under outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws — embody the president’s belief that `America is a nation of second chances,”‘ White House counsel Neil Eggleston wrote in a blog post.

Eggleston said Obama examines each clemency application on its specific merits to identify the appropriate relief, including whether the prisoner would be helped by additional drug treatment, educational programming or counseling. He called on Congress to finally pass a criminal justice overhaul to bring about “lasting change to the federal system.”

Most of those receiving commutations Wednesday will be released December 1.

Individuals receiving commutations from Kansas were Lavon A Crockett, Kansas City, KS and Ricard REser, Sedgwick, Ks.  Thomas Fuller and Michael Franklin from Kansas City, MO also received commutations.  All were serving time for drug related crimes.  

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