President commutes eight federal inmates; what does it mean?

Law professor Mark Osler appeared on NPR’s “The Take-Away” yesterday to give his take on President Obama’s commutation of the sentences handed out to eight federal inmates convicted of crack-related felony violations.  If you want to know the difference between a pardon and a commutation, whether or not Obama has the power to commute the sentences of the remaining 500,000 inmates sentenced under the old 100-1 guidelines, why only eight inmates got lucky, and what this signals for the future, these four minutes of audio are well worth a listen.