A week after the White House announced the president would commute sentences for dozens of non-violent drug offenders this summer, Barack Obama made good on the promise, freeing 46 non-violent drug offenders Monday afternoon. Some, like 65-year-old Patrick Roberts of Detroit, were serving life sentences.
The move is a historic one; the president commuted more sentences at one time than any president has since Lyndon B. Johnson, the Washington Post points out.
In a video posted to Facebook, Obama expounded on the effort to correct the tough and unfair sentencing that disproportionately affects minority men and, in turn, destroys communities.
“These men and women were not hardened criminals. But the overwhelming majority had to be sentenced to at least 20 years,” he said, noting that in his letters to them he made sure they needed to make different choices now that they were free.”But I believe that at its heart, America’s a nation of second chances. And I believe these folks deserve their second chance.”
During his presidency, Obama has commuted sentences for 89 people. Since agreeing to rectify the unfair sentencing that is a large pillar of prison reform, about 35,000 inmates have applied to be considered for early release.
Surprisingly, prison reform has become a bipartisan issue, garnering support from Democrats, Republicans, and those in between. Obama’s latest effort comes just days before he’s set to make history as the first sitting president to visit a federal prison.
On Thursday, Obama will meet with law enforcement officials and inmates at El Reno Federal Correctional Institution outside Oklahoma City. According to a White House press release, the president will also be conducting an interview for a “Vice” documentary focused on the criminal justice system in this nation.
SOURCE: Washington Post | VIDEO SOURCE: Washington Post
The White House provided a list of the people whose sentences are being commuted. To see the list, click here.
President Obama Makes Good On Promise To Commute Sentences For Non-Violent Drug Offenders was originally published on newsone.com