The motivation was they were serving sentences “under an outdated sentencing regime.” More precisely, “because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years – in some cases more than a decade – longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime,” Neil Eggleston, the White House counsel, said in a post on the White House blog. Until Tuesday, Obama had issued 21 commutations and 64 pardons over the course of his presidency. For comparison, during his eight years in office, the administration said, President George W. Bush commuted just 11 sentences. Thousands have applied for commutation but just a fraction of the applications are approved, the president said. He confessed having “the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance” after making a mistake in life.