It took a presidential pardon to fix a typo that would have kept a man in jail for 3 1/2 years too long.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of Ceasar Huerta Cantu, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and money laundering. He was sentenced to a 15-year prison term, but it was subsequently discovered a typographical error had added 3.5 years to what should have been an 11 1/2-year sentence.
A White House official explained the typo. Federal sentencing guidelines called for a base offence level of 34 under Cantu’s plea agreement. However, the typo erroneously put the base level at 36, which increased the sentence by 42 months.
“A judge ruled that Mr. Cantu did not discover this error in time to correct it through any judicial means; as a result, it can now only be rectified through clemency,” the White House official said.
According to the Justice Department, Obama has issued 52 presidential pardons, and with this one, 10 commutations while in office.
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