Many who received clemency had been sentenced to life in prison. Among them is Gulley, the Pensacola man convicted in 1996. Brian Shrader, his attorney, called him this summer to tell him he would be released Sept. 2.

“We’ve been over-criminalizing and we’re incarcerating too many people and really doing harm to ourselves,” said criminal defense lawyer Brian Shrader of Tampa. “We’re really punishing our own society.”