WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department will widen the criteria it uses to decide which drug offenders to recommend to the president for clemency, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Monday.

Holder said the department expects thousands of drug offenders currently serving time to be eligible for pardoning and it will prepare to review an influx of applications.

(Reporting By Julia Edwards; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm of our readers it has become necessary to transfer our commenting system to a more scalable system in order handle the content.