Obama Pardons 12, Commutes Drug Sentences

President Obama commuted lengthy prison sentences Wednesday for eight people convicted of drug offenses and issued pardons to 12 other federal convicts.

The drug sentences ranged from 16 years to life imprisonment, and administration officials said the president’s actions were consistent with his push to reduce sentences for certain drug offenses, particularly involving crack cocaine.

Mr. Obama also issued pardons for 12 people on offenses ranging from theft of bank funds to running an illegal distillery.

The actions bring the total number of clemency grants by Mr. Obama to 64 pardons and 21 commutations. In his first term, Mr. Obama pardoned 22 people — fewer than any other modern president — and commuted one sentence.