In this Aug. 1, 2016 photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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President Barack Obama on Wednesday cut short the sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 life sentences, in what the White House called the largest batch of commutations on a single day in more than a century.All told, Obama has commuted 562 sentences during his presidency -- more than the past nine presidents combined, the White House said.He called on Congress to finally pass a criminal justice overhaul to bring about "lasting change to the federal system".Presidents tend to use their powers to commute sentences or issue pardons more frequently at the end of their presidencies, and Obama administration officials said the rapid pace would continue during Obama's final months.The Obama administration has also expanded criteria for inmates applying for clemency, prioritizing nonviolent offenders who have behaved well in prison, aren't closely tied to gangs and would have received shorter sentences if they had been convicted a few years later.
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