Obama pardons 78, shortens the sentence for 153

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes, the greatest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president, the White House said Monday.

Obama has been granting commutations at rapid-fire pace in his final months in office, but he has focused primarily on shortening sentences of those convicted of drug offenses rather than pardons. Pardons amount to forgiveness of a crime that removes restrictions on the right to vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury. The pardon also lessens the stigma arising from the conviction.

Neil Eggleston, Obama’s White House counsel, said Obama has now pardoned a total of 148 people during his presidency and has shortened the sentences of 1,176 people, including 395 serving life sentences.

Eggleston said each clemency recipient’s story is unique, but a common thread of rehabilitation underlies all of them. Pardon recipients have shown they have led a productive and law-abiding post-conviction life, including by contributing to the community in a meaningful way, he said.

Commutation recipients have made the most of his or her time in prison by participating in educational courses, vocational training, and drug treatment, he said.

“These are the stories that demonstrate the successes that can be achieved — by both individuals and society — in a nation of second chances,” Eggleston said.

The commutations were announced as Obama vacations in Hawaii during the holidays.

Following pardons and sentences from Kansas:

Demetri D. Alexander – Kansas City, KS
Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture cocaine base “crack” and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base “crack”; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; District of Kansas
Sentence: 180 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (July 24, 2007)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

Franklin Goodwin, Jr. – Leavenworth, KS
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base or possess with intent to distribute or distribute cocaine; use of a communication facility to facilitate the offense of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; District of Kansas
Sentence: Life imprisonment; one year’s supervised release (October 28, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

Anthony Dewon Rose – Coffeyville, KS
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base, aka “crack”; possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of MDMA, aka “ecstasy” ; Northern District of Oklahoma
Sentence: 188 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine (August 26, 2008)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, and unpaid balance of the $1,000 fine remitted at the time of his release, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.