Biden commutes sentences for 31 convicted of drug-related crimes
All of the sentences are now set to end on June 30, with the remainder of their time to be served as in-home confinement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday reduced the prison sentences of 31 people convicted of drug-related crimes, using the powers of the presidency to ease punishment for non-violent offenses.
Biden this week launched his bid for a second term in the 2024 election. The Democratic president faces pressure to show progress on racial and criminal justice issues. The United States has less than 5% of the world's population but a fifth of its prisoners. A disproportionate share are people of color, who make up a sizable chunk of Biden's base of support.
The announcement came as the White House unveiled a 77-page plan to reduce "unnecessary" incarcerations, support rehabilitation for imprisoned people and help those getting out of prison re-enter society more successfully.
Biden has reduced sentences or outright pardoned more than 100 individuals. Most were drug-related cases. He also pardoned a group of thousands more who had been convicted of simple marijuana possession.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)