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Obama Commutes Prison Sentences for 46 Drug Offenders
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Summary: As a country founded on freedoms, Obama is granting that freedom to 46 men and women that were serving time for drug-related crimes.

With the most commuted sentences since Lyndon B. Johnson, Obama added to his numbers by commuting 46 drug offenders Monday. In his video statement, he says the men and women “were not hardened criminals” and that their crimes did not match their punishments.

  
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Obama has placed a priority on reforming the criminal justice system by reviewing current sentencing laws and reducing the punishment for those that commit non-violent crimes. Most of his almost 90 commutations have been for federal prisoners that committed drug offenses during the 1980s. A drug-and-crime wave set guidelines where offenders were hit with long sentences. Most of the prisoners would have already been released under today’s sentencing guidelines.

Thirteen of the 46 commuted today were sentenced to life in prison. Most of the sentences will end in November so that officials have time to arrange for halfway houses and other facilities for the offenders to go. Unlike a presidential pardon, being commuted only reduces the sentence. Pardons erase the offender’s conviction. Obama has given out 64 pardons.

After the offenders are released, they will continue to be supervised by probation officers and must uphold to the conditions set at their original sentencing. For some this means drug testing. This is the third round of commutations that Obama has given lately. He granted 22 for drug-related crimes earlier in the year. The first round was in late 2014 with eight commutations.

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A letter sent to each of the 46 men and women was posted by the White House stating “I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around. Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity.” Obama believes this country to be a place for second-chances so he is starting with the prison system to give those that have earned it a second-chance.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/13/politics/obama-commutes-sentences-drug-offenders/



Photo: alternet.org



 

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