President Obama commutes eight crack cocaine prison sentences

By Kyle Johnson,

President Barack Obama has decided to commute eight people on crack cocaine charges as he believes that their crimes do not warrant the length of their prison time.

According to USA Today, the eight people have already served 15 years of their lengthy sentences that fell under mandatory minimums.

In a statement, Obama said, "In several cases, the sentencing judges expressed frustration that the law at the time did not allow them to issue punishments that more appropriately fit the crime."

The eight commuted sentences fit in with the president's view of sentence disparities between those who are charged for crack cocaine as opposed to powder cocaine.

Obama previously signed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 that aimed to keep the two with more similar punishments, reports Reuters. The eight had their sentences commuted due to being charged before the law was put into place.

The president commented, "If they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society." He noted that keeping them in jail was both "unjust" for their families and taxpayers who had to pay to keep them locked up.

USA Today notes that 13 other people received pardons for a variety of offenses, including theft, robbery, mail fraud, embezzlement and drug charges.

image: Wikimedia Commons


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