President Obama just commuted the sentences of 22 drug offenders on Tuesday. This marks the largest of such “pot pardons” since Obama took office.
Earlier, Obama had commuted the sentences of 8 prisoners who would almost certainly have received lighter sentences if they had been convicted now.
The latest group of 22 pot “offenders” include Francis Darrell Hayden, who has gained notoriety in activist circles and among civil libertarians after he was sentenced to life in prison for growing marijuana back in 2002.
A 2004 federal appeals court opinion said that Hayden’s crimes were exclusively marijuana violations. But because he had marijuana offenses back in 1980 and 1990, he received a life sentence in 2002.
“The White House has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications, to restore a degree of justice, fairness and proportionality for deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety,” Eric Holder said back in April.
“The Justice Department is committed to recommending as many qualified applicants as possible for reduced sentences,” he continued.
“I take my clemency authority very seriously,” President Obama allegedly said to a group of U.S. attorneys in a meeting at the White House last year.
But there are many more sentences that need commuted if the President is serious about this commitment. Tomorrow, we will bring you cases from a dozen pot prisoners who should be free, but are locked up for life because of the failed, so-called “War on Drugs.”
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(Article by Reagan Ali and S. Wooten)