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, a "plain-English legal information site," commutation is a "form of clemency that reduces the punishment for a crime. It usually takes the form of a reduced ('commuted') prison term, but can also reduce court-ordered fines."

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.