More than a third of the 61 inmates were serving life sentences on charges related to possession and distribution of drugs including cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana.In order to qualify for a commutation, inmates have to have served at least 10 years of their sentence, have demonstrated good conduct in prison, and have no significant criminal history or connections to gangs, cartels or other organized crime. “We hope to soon realize systemic change in the length of prison sentences for these low-level drug offenders and to provide better tools for a safe and successful reentry into the community”.Exdonovan Peak was sentenced in February 1997 to 30 years and five months and a $12,000 fine by a MS federal court for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.Anderson was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 at the age of 24 for cocaine trafficking.But sentencing reform advocates said that many more prisoners are disappointed they have not yet heard from the president about their petitions.Obama will meet Wednesday with people whose sentences were previously commuted under Obama or under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.Neil Eggleston, the White House counsel, wrote in a blog post that Obama will continue his relatively aggressive pace of commutations during the remainder of his presidency.The discussion was moderated by CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, who said that the aim of the panel was to “focus on a path forward, on solutions” to the problem.Obama granted commuted sentences to 61 additional prisoners on Wednesday, bringing his total so far to 248, the White House said.”They are pretty much like heroin”, she said of Vicodin and OxyContin. Their terms are now set to expire this year or next.The administration announced an array of new measures to expand drug treatment centers and increase the use of drugs, like naloxone, that reverse the effects of overdoses from opioids, ranging from illegal narcotics like heroin to brand-name painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet.Obama initially responded to Crayton’s sadness with a letter, urging her grandmother to let the young girl know she should “dry her tears because I’m not going anywhere”.Obama’s authority to grant commutations comes from Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which states: “The President… shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment”. With Obama’s support, the Justice Department in recent years has directed prosecutors to rein in the use of harsh mandatory minimums and expanded the criteria for inmates applying for clemency. As with Obama’s other priorities, the din of the chaotic presidential campaign has increasingly made cooperation among Republicans and Democrats in Congress this year a non-starter.