Obama Commutes The Sentences Of 61 Drug Criminals


President Barack Obama granted commutation of sentences Wednesday to 61 federal inmates, including two from Georgia, the White House announced.The inmates also differ in their time served: Robert Lee Lane has been serving a life sentence in Florida for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine since 1990, and Damion Tripp has been serving a 20 year sentence in Missouri for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine and a detectable amount of marijuana since 2008.His original release date was set for 2022 to be followed by probation until he turned 55, but with Wednesday’s commutation, Gavin’s sentence will now expire in July, followed by four years of supervised release. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession of an instrument of crime and related crimes, and convicted December 21, 1998, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A pardon is an executive order granting clemency after a sentence has been completed, which typically restores an offender’s civil rights. He also spent a portion of Wednesday meeting with drug offenders who have been pardoned already, either by himself or his predecessors.The White House says Obama has now commuted the sentences of 248 individuals – more than the last six presidents combined.”Throughout the remainder of his time in office, the president is committed to continuing to issue more grants of clemency as well as strengthening rehabilitation programs”, White House counsel Neil Eggleston wrote on the White House blog. 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. “I believe America is a nation of second chances, and with hard work, responsibility, and better choices, people can change their lives and contribute to our society.” .”By exercising these presidential powers, I have the chance to show people what a second chance can look like”, Obama said after his meal.President Barack Obama has stated that criminal justice reform is something he wants to make a front-line issue during his final year in office.While Obama’s volume of commutations has made history, Congress could go farther by passing sentencing reform legislation. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has said the overhaul is doable but doesn’t have to get done in 2016.The President has long called for getting rid of strict sentences for drug offenses that criics say lead to excessive punishment and high incarceration rates.In the spring of 2014, then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. – who called mandatory-minimum drug sentences “draconian” – launched the clemency initiative to grant clemency to certain nonviolent drug offenders in federal prison.