Obama Just Shortened 61 Drug Offenders’ Prison Sentences

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While Obama has commuted more sentences than any recent president, he has only pardoned 70 people – the fewest since President James Garfield in the 1880s, according to a CBS News report.

Of the 61 people who had their sentences for illegal drug-related convictions commuted by President Barack Obama, three are Louisianians.
Ian Kavanaugh Gavin, of Eight Mile, was arrested in 2006. Under the president’s order, he will now be released July 28.
On July 28, both will be free men, They are among the latest to be released under a clemency initiative the President announced in 2014 that’s created to reduce sentences that were much heftier than what would like be given now.
“It does not make sense for a non-violent drug offender to be getting 20 years, 30 years, in some cases life in prison”. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder even went so far as to speculate that 10,000 prisoners might get their sentences reduced by the end of the Obama administration. “While old habits are hard to break… a dramatic shift is underway in the mindset of prosecutors handling nonviolent drug offenses”.
Cordell’s sentence will now expire in March 2017.
It encouraged prisoners whose drug sentences would be shorter under current law (and who met other criteria) to apply for commutations.
The six Tennessee and Kentucky residents whose sentences were commuted were drug dealers who were sentenced to serve anywhere from 16 years to life in prison.
Obama is scheduled to eat lunch Wednesday with seven inmates who have received commutations from him or former Presidents Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, discussing their experiences and possible improvements to the reentry process.
Carmel Bretous, of Miami, was convicted of cocaine distribution and sentenced to more than 19 years in prison.
“Despite the progress we have made, it is important to remember that clemency is almost always a tool of last resort that can help specific individuals, but does nothing to make our criminal justice system on the whole more fair and just”, White House Counsel Neil Eggleston writes in a press release Wednesday.
“They’re Americans who’d been serving time on the kind of outdated sentences that are clogging up our jails and burning through our tax dollars”, Obama said in a statement on Facebook.
Ismael Rosa was convicted in 1995 of conspiracy to distribute multiple kilograms of cocaine and use of a communication facility in the commission of a drug offense and was serving life imprisonment for the crimes.