President Obama commuted the sentences of 214 prisoners Tuesday, bringing his total commutations during his presidency to 562, more than the previous nine presidents' commutations combined.

Consistent with his calls to reduce criminal penalties for nonviolent drug offenders who face charges, most of the 214 were serving time for drug-related crimes that would have received shorter sentences if they had been convicted of the same crime this year, the White House said.

The latest commutations include clemency for 67 individuals serving life sentences, almost all of them for nonviolent drug-related crimes.

Obama's decision to provide clemency for these individuals carries special weight, White House counsel Neil Eggleston wrote in a White House blog announcing the latest round of commutations.

"Up until today, [they] could only imagine what it might be like once again to attend a loved one's birthday party, walk their child to school, or simply go to the grocery store," Eggleston wrote.

"All of the individuals receiving commutation today, incarcerated under outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws, embody the president's belief that 'America is a nation of second chances,'" he continued.