Washington President Clinton has commuted the prison sentences of four women who were convicted of drug crimes but received much harsher sentences than men involved in the cases, a White House spokesman said Sunday.
"The president felt they had served a disproportionate amount of time," said spokesman Jake Siewert. "They received much more severe sentences than their husbands and boyfriends."
The women freed under Friday's order were Louise House, Shawndra Mills, Amy Pofahl and Serena Nunn.
One man, Alain Orozco, also was ordered freed after serving time on a drug conviction.
Authorities said Nunn was convicted after being drawn into a Minneapolis drug ring by her boyfriend, but received a stiff 14-year sentence after refusing to inform on him. She served 10 years before her release.
Pofahl was convicted along with her husband, a Stanford University Law School graduate and wealthy Dallas businessman, in connection with the drug Ecstasy. While he received three years probation, she was sentenced to 24 years without parole.
Details of the House and Mills cases were not available from the White House.