La décision représente le plus grand nombre, depuis au moins un siècle, de commutations de peines prononcées par un président en un seul jour.

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President Obama commuted the prison terms for 214 federal inmates Wednesday, the most by a president in a single day in at least a century and brings his communication total in 71/2 years to greater than the number granted in the previous 48.

Among those granted clemency by Mr. Obama were 67 inmates serving life prison terms, mostly for drug crimes and not always from small amounts.

The action brings the number of commutations by Mr. Obama to 562, more than the previous nine presidents combined, from John F. Kennedy onward. It’s coupled with his push to reform federal sentencing guidelines for drug crimes.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston said the president isn’t nearly finished, with more than five months remaining in office. “I expect the president will continue to grant clemency in a historic and inspiring fashion,” he said.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Joe Crimming