Obama Commutes Sentences of Eight Prisoners Serving Time on Drug Convictions
Date:  12-20-2013

Freedom in sight for non-violent offenders serving decades behind bars
In a move that surely brought feelings of joy to some inmates and their families, but tears of sadness and frustration to others, President Obama commuted the sentences of eight Americans who had already served at least 15 years, and some who were serving life sentences due to the notorious and ill-conceived laws regarding possession or dealing crack cocaine. Obama also pardoned 13 people.

In a breaking news announcement the New York Times stated that most of the inmates would be free in 120 days.

The move to free the eight prisoners comes after U.S. Attorney Holder said that the Government would look into the extremely harsh sentenced handed down to non-violent drug offenders who are not a threat to society yet were sentenced to decades, or life, in prison. The Times article gives an overview of the consequences of mandatory minimum sentences, the crack cocaine laws that decimated communities, and also on the Fair Sentencing Act and the push to make it retroactive. Click here to go to website.

Meanwhile, in federal prisons across the country, prisoners who applied for a sentence commutation are distraught that they weren’t one of the lucky eight inmates that received the golden ticket from Obama. But, as in each previous year, those whose names were not announced hold out hope that the President will release yet another list, and this time they too will taste freedom for the first time in decades. They wait, and wait.

To see the White House press announcement listing the people granted commutations and pardons click here to go to website.