To date, President Barack Obama has commuted 248 sentences. (Photo: Miss Millions, Flickr)

President Barack Obama granted the commutation of sentences of 61 individuals nationwide today.

Three of those people were from Tennessee-two from Memphis and one from Knoxville.

According to Nolo.com, a “plain-English legal information site,” commutation is a “form of clemencythat reduces the punishment for a crime. It usually takes the form of a reduced (‘commuted’) prison term, but can also reduce court-ordered fines.”

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The following is information about the commuted persons and their sentences from a White House news release:

Nathan Carter, Memphis

  • Offense: Possession of 121 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute; possession of 65.8 grams of cocaine base with intent to distribute; supervised release violation
  • Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (April 30, 1999); 30 months’ imprisonment; 18 months’ supervised release; $10,000 fine (May 5, 1999)

Lamont Durville Glass, Knoxville

  • Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; felon in possession of a firearm
  • Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Jan. 9, 1998)

Eric Smith, Memphis

  • Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; unlawfully maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing and using cocaine base
  • Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (April 24, 1995)

“The power to grant pardons and commutations . embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws,” Obama said in a prepared statement.

To date, Obama has commuted the sentences of 248 individuals, White House officials said.

Tomorrow, the White House will host a briefing to discuss Obama’s clemency initiative, a news release said. Officials said the public can tune in March 31 at 2 p.m. EDT by clicking here.

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