President Obama on Thursday commuted prison sentences for eight people convicted of crack cocaine offenses, including a cousin of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, one of the president’s staunchest supporters.
The president pardoned 13 others, surpassing in the fifth year of his presidency all the acts of clemency from his entire first term.
“I am commuting the prison terms of eight men and women who were sentenced under an unfair system,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “Commuting the sentences of these eight Americans is an important step toward restoring fundamental ideals of justice and fairness.”