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Obama has now granted commutations to over 1,000 federal inmates

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 17:04
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(Before It's News)

President Obama has commuted the sentences of more individuals in one year than in any other single year in our nation’s history. (Chart: WhiteHouse.gov)

President Obama has commuted the sentences of more individuals in one year than in any other single year in our nation’s history. (Chart: WhiteHouse.gov)

President Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentences of 79 federal inmates doing hard time, and almost one in five were in jail partially because of the illegal guns they carried.

“The power to grant pardons and commutations… embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws,” noted Obama in a prepared release by the White House.

The 44th President is making history.

Since taking office, 1,023 men and women “incarcerated under outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws” have been granted clemency by Obama including 342 individuals who were serving life sentences.

Of those who had their terms commuted this week, 14 were behind bars on a combination of drug charges that also involved firearms possession– often multiple counts– usually by a prohibited possessor.

One, Dexter Bert Tyson, an Maryland man sentenced to life in 2006 for long list of cocaine trafficking and weapons charges, had his sentence upheld by the U.S. Fourth Circuit in 2012 and again by a District Judge last year, citing a wealth of evidence against him.

The actions by the White House continue a trend in recent months.

The President commuted 111 federal prisoners in late August, in which a number of those with firearms charges were featured. Earlier the same month he did likewise for 214 inmates including 56 with gun felonies.

When called out on the fact that nearly 1 in 4 of the batch of 214 inmates had carried illegal guns, Obama outlined that it all came down to whether they were using the firearms or not and elaborated that his emphasis was on people who were overcharged and did not have a propensity for violence.

There were subsequent commutations of another 200 in October in two batches.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, part of the Office of the Pardon Attorney, said the 1,000 who have received clemency all have a common denominator– one of odds being stacked against them and the executive action as a way to a second chance.

“It’s part of my job to review the petitions for each of these individuals, and I’ve been struck by the common threads woven through many of them – lack of access to education or real economic opportunity, absence of parents, drug addiction, hopelessness,” said Yates in a statement. “But in these petitions I’ve also seen something else – remarkable introspection, a real sense of responsibility for their conduct, and a dogged determination not to repeat the mistakes of the past and to ensure that they, and especially their children, chart another path.”

Some advocates are urging Obama to step on the gas when it comes to emptying federal prisons, arguing that when the White House comes under new management in January, there may not be the same opportunity.

“There is a rising sense of uncertainty about the future of clemency under a Trump administration,” said Jessica Jackson Sloan, National Director of Cut50, a group attempting to cut the nation’s incarcerated population in half, in an email to Guns.com. “Many are worried that their loved ones will die in prison without clemency from the President. With less than 60 days left before President Obama leaves office, we hope he does everything in his power to overturn injustice and leave no deserving person behind.”

There are currently 12,405 petitions for clemency and 1,935 for pardons pending with the administration.

Of the 79 commutations directed by the White House on Tuesday, the following 14 federal inmates were doing hard time for crimes that included weapons charges:

Christopher Michael Calloway
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
District/Date: Eastern District of Virginia; June 9, 2008
Sentence: 181 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (June 18, 2007); amended to 180 months’ imprisonment
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on March 22, 2017.

William Henry Dudley
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
District/Date: Northern District of Florida; April 27, 2006
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 22, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

Reginald Leon Edwards
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
District/Date: Western District of Virginia; October 22, 2008
Sentence: 181 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $400 fine (August 3, 2007); amended to 180 months’ imprisonment
Terms of grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 22, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

Timothy Fields
Offense: Conspiracy; possession with intent to distribute controlled substance, aiding and abetting (three counts); use and carry firearm during drug trafficking crime
District/Date: Northern District of Texas; February 16, 1994
Sentence: Life plus 60 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 465 months’ imprisonment.

Tyris Ford
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (“crack”); distribution of cocaine base (“crack”) or possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”); carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime
District/Date: Eastern District of Pennsylvania; January 5, 2001
Sentence: 300 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on March 22, 2017.

Osvaldo Richard Gonzalez
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense
District/Date: Southern District of Iowa; September 7, 2007
Sentence: 180 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on March 22, 2017.

Jamere Ireadus Hall
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; felon in possession of firearm
District/Date: District of Maryland; August 1, 2005
Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 210 months’ imprisonment.

Timothy Johnson
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime
District/Date: District of South Carolina; February 28, 2006
Sentence: 180 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on March 22, 2017.

Daniel Lee Larsen
Offense: Possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; conspiracy or attempt to manufacture methamphetamine (two counts); establishment of a manufacture operation; possession of a listed chemical (two counts); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense
District/Date: District of Utah; January 7, 2002
Sentence: 384 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $2,000 restitution
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 270 months’ imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

Vernard Mitchell
Offense: Unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; unlawful possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base; unlawful possession with intent to distribute heroin; unlawful possession with intent to distribute cannabis
District/Date: District of Columbia; March 30, 2007
Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 210 months’ imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

Ward Everette Mohler
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine; distribution of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (three counts); carry firearm during drug trafficking (two counts); possession of firearm by a convicted felon (two counts); distribution of methamphetamine (nine counts)
District/Date: Western District of Virginia; March 18, 2016
Sentence: 469 months’ imprisonment; three years’ supervised release (April 23, 1992); amended to 436 months’ imprisonment
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 22, 2016.

Dexter Bert Tyson
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a mixture containing cocaine base and a mixture containing cocaine; possession with intent to distribute a mixture containing cocaine base and cocaine, aiding and abetting; possession with intent to distribute a mixture containing cocaine, aiding and abetting (two counts); possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, aiding and abetting; possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, aiding and abetting, felon in possession of a firearm; felon in possession of ammunition
District/Date: District of Maryland; January 13, 2006
Sentence: Life plus 60 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release
Terms of grant:  Prison sentence commuted to a term of 300 months’ imprisonment.

Lavan Maurice Walker
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute a detectable amount of heroin (two counts); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
District/Date: Southern District of Florida; March 9, 2004
Sentence 420 months’ imprisonment; six years’ supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on March 22, 2017.

Nelson Williams
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (two counts); distribution of cocaine base; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
District/Date: Eastern District of Louisiana; July 21, 2004
Sentence 240 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on March 22, 2017.

The post Obama has now granted commutations to over 1,000 federal inmates appeared first on Guns.com.

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