President Obama commuted the sentences yesterday of 22 inmates who were originally serving anywhere from 20 years to life in prison for drug-related crimes.
The commutation was meant to give inmates imprisoned under older, harsher laws the same kind of leniency as those arrested on drug charges today.
“Had they been sentenced under current laws and policies, many of these individuals would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement. “Because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years — in some cases more than a decade — longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime.”
Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett tweeted a picture of a letter Obama sent to Terry Andre Barnes informing him of his earlier release, NPR reported. Barnes was originally sentenced to more than 20 years in prison in 2005, for “conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.”
Here is the letter:
Most of the inmates given a commuted sentence were arrested between 1992 and 2005 and were due to serve at least 20 years in prison for selling marijuana, crack cocaine or methamphetamine. Under their new commuted sentences, all 22 inmates will be released on July 28, 2015.
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