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Thousands of federal offenders could become eligible for clemency consideration by President Obama under new guidelines set to be released later this week by the Justice Department.

Attorney General Eric Holder, in a video message posted Monday on the Justice website, said the expanded program will allow the president to consider clemency requests from “a larger field of eligible individuals.”

The Justice Department’s action comes less than a week after the White House asked the department to revamp the rules for the solicitation of additional commutation and pardon requests.

“Once these reforms go into effect, we expect to receive thousands of additional applications for clemency,” Holder said, adding that “potentially dozens of (department) lawyers” would be assigned to review the anticipated wave of requests.

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