In a video announcement, he said the prisoners were not “hardened criminals” and had been given sentences that “didn’t fit their crimes”.He said it was part of a wider effort to restore the sense of fairness in a “nation of second chances”.Mr Obama is due to unveil plans for criminal justice reforms on Tuesday.
The 46 prisoners, 14 of whom were serving life sentences, are scheduled to be released on 10 November.Most of them were jailed for crack cocaine offences, which once carried a sentence equivalent to someone caught with 100 times the same amount of powder cocaine.
“These men and women were not hardened criminals. But the overwhelming majority had to be sentenced to at least 20 years,” Mr Obama said.”But I believe that at its heart, America’s a nation of second chances. And I believe these folks deserve their second chance.”(BBC-2015)