President Barack Obama on Friday shortened the sentences of 72 federal inmates, the vast majority serving lengthy prison terms for non-violent drug crimes, reports CNN.

The latest bout of clemency brings the total number of commutations under Obama to 944. About a third of those have been for life sentences.

The White House says the commutations are a step toward instilling fairness in the criminal justice system, but insist that fully reforming sentencing laws will require congressional action.

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