The Clemency Initiative

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The President is Acting; Congress Must Step Up Too

Posted by indianavisionaries@gmail.com on August 31, 2016 at 6:15 PM



President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 111 people incarcerated in federal prison on Tuesday, almost all for drug offenses. This brings his total number of clemencies granted to 673 people. Many of those who received commutations today were victims of the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine.


President Obama has been pushed to do more to release those serving time in prison under harsh drug laws.


“The President is doing the right thing, but we hope to see many more commutations,” said Michael Collins, deputy director at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. ” We also need Congress to Act. Paul Ryan has promised a vote on the sentencing reform bill in September, and Mitch McConnell must do the same.”


The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, spearheaded by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), includes reductions in mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, an expansion of the federal “safety valve” (which allows judges to use their discretion to sentence people below statutory mandatory minimums), and will expand prison programming and early release, among other things.


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- The Daily Chronic

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