Obama To Commute Sentences Of 8 Drug Offenders

AP

President Barack Obama is expected to commute the sentences of eight federal inmates convicted on crack cocaine offenses, the New York Times reported Thursday.

“If they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” Obama said in a statemen, according to the Times. “Instead, because of a disparity in the law that is now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison, separated from their families and their communities, at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year.”

Of the eight, Obama will include Clarence Aaron, a first-time nonviolent drug offender sentenced to life without parole.

Full list below via the White House:

·         Clarence Aaron – Mobile, Ala.
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; attempt to possess cocaine with intent to distribute (Southern District of Alabama)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment, five years’ supervised release (Dec. 10, 1993)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 17, 2014

 

·         Stephanie Yvette George – Pensacola, Fla.
Offense: Conspiracy to possess cocaine base with intent to distribute (Northern District of Florida)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment, ten years’ supervised release (May 5, 1997)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 17, 2014

 

·         Ezell Gilbert – Tampa, Fla.
Offense: Possession with intent to deliver cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute marijuana (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence:  292 months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release (Mar. 25, 1997)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to time already served

 

·         Helen Alexander Gray – Ty Ty, Ga.
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Middle District of Georgia)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment (Apr. 19, 1996)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 17, 2014

 

·         Jason Hernandez – McKinney, Tex.
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances; possession with intent to distribute and distribute crack cocaine and methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute a mixture of methamphetamine and cocaine hydrochloride; distribution of a controlled substance between 1,000 feet of a protected property; establishing a place for manufacture and distribution of controlled substances (Eastern District of Texas)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release; $5,000 fine (Oct. 2, 1998)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to 240 months (20 years)

 

·         Ricky Eugene Patterson – Fort Pierce, Fla.
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Southern District of Florida)
Sentence: Life imprisonment (Aug. 3, 1995)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 17, 2014

 

·         Billy Ray Wheelock – Belton, Tex.
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute more than 5 grams of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school; possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (Western District of Texas)
Sentence: Life imprisonment, 10 years’ supervised release, $3,000 fine (Jun. 9, 1993)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 17, 2014

 

·         Reynolds Allen Wintersmith, Jr. – Rockford, Ill.
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute crack (Northern District of Illinois)
Sentence: Life imprisonment, five years’ supervised release, $1,000 fine (Nov. 23, 1994)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 17, 2014

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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