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President Obama told the Huffington Post in a recent interview, pictured here, that he plans to use his pardon and clemency powers "more aggressively," with particular focus on cases that represent "the broader issues that we face, particularly around nonviolent drug offenses." (Image via Huffington Post_

President Obama told the Huffington Post in a recent interview, pictured here, that he plans to use his pardon and clemency powers "more aggressively," with particular focus on cases that represent "the broader issues that we face, particularly around nonviolent drug offenses." (Image via Huffington Post)

President Obama Grants Clemency to 22 Drug Offenders

Executive Orders issued to correct 'outdated' and overblown sentencing for non-violent drug offenders swept up in War on Drugs

Lauren McCauley

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday granted clemency to 22 individuals serving "outdated" drug sentences.

"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 "Because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years—in some cases more than a decade—longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime."

The detainees were each imprisoned for intent to distribute an illegal drug. Eight of the individuals carried lifetime sentences.

In a letter sent to each commutation recipient, Obama urged the individuals to "make the most of this opportunity."

"It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change," he wrote. "But remember that you have the capacity to make good choices. By doing so, you will affect not only your own life, but those close to you. You will also influence, through your example, the possibility that others in your circumstances get their own second chance in the future."

Advocates have long-pushed for the president to utilize his clemency powers, especially after the Department of Justice expanded its criteria to include more low-level drug offenders unfairly swept up in the War on Drugs. Until Tuesday, Obama had only commuted the sentences of 21 people and pardoned 64, out of thousands of applications received.

In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Obama said he planned to use his pardon and clemency powers "more aggressively," with particular focus on cases that represent "the broader issues that we face, particularly around nonviolent drug offenses."

The names the individuals granted commutations and their respective charges are listed below:

Terry Andre Barnes – East Moline, Illinois
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; supervised release violation (Southern District of Iowa)
Sentence: 246 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (July 25, 2005)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Theresa Brown – Pompano Beach, Florida
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine (Southern District of Florida)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Mar. 29, 1995)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Donel Marcus Clark – Dallas, Texas
Offense: Conspiracy; use of a communication facility (five counts); distribution and/or possession of cocaine or manufacturing in or near a school facility, aiding and abetting (Northern District of Texas)
Sentence: 420 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (Nov. 12, 1993); amended to 360 months’ imprisonment (August 20, 2008)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Ricky Bernard Coggins – Tallahassee, Florida
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (Northern District of Florida)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 3, 1993)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Samuel Pasqual Edmondson – Junction City, Kansas
Offense: Conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (Eastern District of Texas)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Sep. 24, 1997)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Amado Garcia – Fresno, California
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine; aiding and abetting the possession of methamphetamine; aiding and abetting the possession of heroin (District of Wyoming)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $2,000 fine (Nov. 29, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Dwight Anthony Goddard – Decatur, Georgia
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Middle District of Georgia)
Sentence: 235 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Feb. 7, 2002)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Lionel Ray Hairston – Ridgeway, Virginia
Offense: Distribution of cocaine base (three counts) (Western District of Virginia)
Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (May 27, 1999)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Francis Darrell Hayden – Loretto, Kentucky
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants or 1,000 or more kilograms of marijuana; manufacture of 1,000 or more marijuana plants (Eastern District of Michigan)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 2, 2002)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Harold Kenneth Herring – Havana, Florida
Offense: Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Northern District of Florida)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jan. 22, 1998)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Tommie Lee Hollingshed – Memphis, Tennessee
Offense: Distribution of a controlled substance (two counts) (Western District of Tennessee)
Sentence: 324 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (May 1, 1996)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Derrick DeWayne Johnson – Birmingham, Alabama
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine (Northern District of Alabama)
Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (Nov. 18, 1998)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 262 months.

Robert Martinez-Gil – San Antonio, Texas
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin (Western District of Texas)
Sentence: Life imprisonment (July 9, 1992)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

David Navejar – Brooksville, Florida
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jan. 27, 2003)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Rudolph Norris – Washington, D.C.
Offense: Unlawful distribution of cocaine base; unlawful possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (District of Columbia)
Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Apr. 5, 1993)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Tracy Lynn Petty – Shelby, North Carolina
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (Western District of North Carolina)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Mar. 30, 2006); amended to 204 months’ imprisonment (February 25, 2008)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Luis Razo – Davenport, Iowa
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine (Southern District of Iowa)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jan. 3, 2003)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Antwon Rogers – Cleveland, Ohio
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 139.8 grams of cocaine base (Northern District of Ohio)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jan. 30, 1995)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Herman Rosenboro – Kingsport, Tennessee
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine and over 50 grams of cocaine base; distribution of a quantity of cocaine base (two counts); distribution of a quantity of cocaine (two counts) (Eastern District of Tennessee)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; six years’ supervised release (Dec. 3, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Lawrence Elmo Scott – Lynchburg, Virginia
Offense: Distribution of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school (Western District of Virginia)
Sentence: 283 months’ imprisonment; six years’ supervised release; $4,000 fine (Apr. 8, 2003)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Levar V. Wade – Chicago, Illinois
Offense: Possession of 50 or more grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute (Central District of Illinois)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 28, 2004)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.

Eugene Winters – Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (Southern District of Iowa)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Feb. 23, 2005)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2015.


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