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Calling sentence disparities unfair, Obama pardons 8 crack offenders
Washington Times ^ | December 19, 2013 | Dave Boyer

Posted on 12/19/2013 2:06:20 PM PST by Zakeet

President Obama on Thursday commuted the prison sentences for eight people convicted of crack cocaine offenses and pardoned 13 others, surpassing in the fifth year of his presidency all the acts of clemency from his entire first term.

“I am commuting the prison terms of eight men and women who were sentenced under an unfair system,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “Commuting the sentences of these eight Americans is an important step toward restoring fundamental ideals of justice and fairness.”

[Snip]

“We are excited for the families of those who were granted commutations today, and we are glad that President Obama recognized that these individuals were serving unnecessarily lengthy sentences,” said FAMM [Families Against Mandatory Minimums] President Julie Stewart. “The bottom line, however, is that there are several thousand more where they came from.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: clemency; cocaine; crack; crackcocaine; obama; prison
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Among those who had their sentences commuted by the president under the new "Catch and Release" program was Clarence Aaron of Mobile, Ala. ... who was sentenced in 1993 to life in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine ... and was justifiably pardoned because it is unfair to keep upstanding citizens like him in jail ... and because what he did wasn't all that bad ... really ... and because we need more people like him out on the street contributing to society!

1 posted on 12/19/2013 2:06:21 PM PST by Zakeet
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To: Zakeet

Besides, there was a job waiting for him in Toronto...


2 posted on 12/19/2013 2:07:35 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Zakeet
Crack is 10% cocaine and 90% baking soda.

When coming up with the amount of a drug that was in a person's possession, the actual amount ought to be used.

A kilo of crack is a tenth of a kilo of actual cocaine.

3 posted on 12/19/2013 2:09:46 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: Zakeet

You kind of expect a crack head to go easy on crack pushers.


4 posted on 12/19/2013 2:09:48 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Zakeet

You kind of expect a crack head to go easy on crack pushers.


5 posted on 12/19/2013 2:09:48 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Zakeet

a great percentage of them will be back in the slammer within one year!


6 posted on 12/19/2013 2:13:28 PM PST by terycarl (common sense rules overall)
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To: Zakeet

I actually don’t have a problem with this. He served over 20 years. Do you think selling drugs should result in a life sentence? Especially when most violent felons get a few years at most? I’d be perfectly fine with switching that around.


7 posted on 12/19/2013 2:16:01 PM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: Zakeet
Well, there it is ...... the racist "get out of jail free" card that conservatives have always said "disparate impact" </ cant and b.s.> has been from the start.
8 posted on 12/19/2013 2:16:12 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Zakeet

Clarence Aaron would’ve been released during the Bush administration had it not been for misconduct by a DOJ official involved in the case. His life sentence was outrageous.

Obama should’ve let him go years ago. Everyone who has heard of it agrees:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/12/04/locked-up-for-life-part-one-case-clarence-aaron/


9 posted on 12/19/2013 2:17:06 PM PST by Forgotten Amendments (I remember when a President having an "enemies list" was a scandal. Now, they have a kill list.)
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To: bigdaddy45
Especially when most violent felons get a few years at most? I’d be perfectly fine with switching that around.

If the prisoner's court that originally convicted him granted a resentencing on appeal, or his parole board said so, or the governor of his state agreed and granted a commutation, yes.

But this is Big Dog Cracker-Buster Osagyefo Paramount Chief and Dear Leader Reichsfuehrer Barack I Obama just saying so on his own motion, to epater les bourgeoises crackas.

That's different. It's like my giving Jesse James an unearned pardon because he was a white boy.

10 posted on 12/19/2013 2:21:13 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: bigdaddy45
I actually don’t have a problem with this. He served over 20 years.

Good call, neither do I. FWIW, this guy and the others are small peanuts.

December 2016 and January, 2017 will be the real revelation of Obama's convictions since that is historically when the REAL pardons and commutations are granted by the outgoing president....

11 posted on 12/19/2013 2:22:54 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (Miss Muffit suffered from arachnophobia.....)
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To: Forgotten Amendments
If it was open-and-shut a judge or parole board should have agreed.

Do you trust liberal axe-grinding media tools that much?

12 posted on 12/19/2013 2:23:24 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Zakeet

If it was up to Obama, Zimmerman would be serving a life sentence because of the Trayvon case, so I doubt he really knows what a “fair system” is.


13 posted on 12/19/2013 2:25:11 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: Zakeet
who was sentenced in 1993 to life in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine .

15th offence?

14 posted on 12/19/2013 2:26:20 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Forgotten Amendments

I have no sympathy for Aaron. He decided to be associated with illegal activity and the stink rubbed off on him.

Sorry....he made a bad choice.....


15 posted on 12/19/2013 2:27:06 PM PST by Shamrock-DW
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To: bigdaddy45

I agree with you on that. If rehabilitation is part of the goal of incarceration a life sentence is a bit excessive.


16 posted on 12/19/2013 2:28:26 PM PST by billhilly (Has Pelosi read it yet?)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
One of my children is a forensic chemist for a certain Bureau of Investigation. When working with crack for the purpose of determining trafficking levels, she analyzes the purity of the sample to calculate the amount of cocaine.

The baking soda has nothing to do with it if you're talking about trafficking.

17 posted on 12/19/2013 2:31:36 PM PST by Scoutmaster (I'd rather be at Philmont)
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To: Zakeet

I’ll bet you that within a year they are all back in the pokey....................


18 posted on 12/19/2013 2:32:55 PM PST by Red Badger (Proud member of the Zeta Omicron Tau Fraternity since 2004...................)
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To: lentulusgracchus
If it was open-and-shut a judge or parole board should have agreed.

The judge did agree, but this hands were tied by the mandatory sentence. And maybe you weren't aware, but "life without parole" means parole boards never hear the case.

19 posted on 12/19/2013 2:33:41 PM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: lentulusgracchus
Do you trust liberal axe-grinding media tools that much?

The link I posted was from liberal, axe-grinding Fox News. Here's what liberal, axe-grinding National Review just posted:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/366763/obama-shows-mercy-clarence-aaron-wesley-j-smith

I differ with this NRO post in that I don't believe Obama deserves ANY credit. He let this guy rot in prison for an extra five years because he didn't have the guts to do the right thing.

20 posted on 12/19/2013 2:34:11 PM PST by Forgotten Amendments (I remember when a President having an "enemies list" was a scandal. Now, they have a kill list.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

Jesse James formented a revolt and killed people.


21 posted on 12/19/2013 2:36:14 PM PST by When do we get liberated? (A socialist is a communist who realizes he must suck at the tit of Capitalism.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

Federal case. No governors involved. And only the president has power of pardon in federal cases. Similarly, president has no power of pardon over state cases.


22 posted on 12/19/2013 2:36:33 PM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: Zakeet

Free those imprisoned for selling drugs to the next generation and abandon those imprisoned for professing a Christian faith (American Pastor Saeed Abedini). Obama may not be the Devil, but it's not for lack of effort.


23 posted on 12/19/2013 2:40:30 PM PST by so_real ( "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.")
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To: Forgotten Amendments; Bubba Ho-Tep
So are you guys propounding that a case of miscarried justice (for the sake of arguing) has no remedy below the Oval Office? That someone actually innocent on the presentiments of liberal mediadom (Fox isn't conservative anymore -- have you heard? -- they're "growing") has no way to present his case, ever, but must languish in durance vile because of raciss evil white people? That if the prisoner is seized of certain ethnic background(s), then 10,000 prosecutors and 120,000 jurors, if they are melanin-deficient, must be wrong?
24 posted on 12/19/2013 2:57:12 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: billhilly
If rehabilitation is part of the goal of incarceration a life sentence is a bit excessive.

Life sentences like his are not rehabilitative. They're intended to be permanent, and reflect a permanent judgment on a person adjudged a career criminal and relegated for the public safety.

25 posted on 12/19/2013 3:00:20 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Zakeet

IIRC, after Len Bias’s death,there were many in the black community who begged for harsh sentences to stop the crack scourge.

Now those laws are considered “unfair”.

I DO think life is too harsh for any but the biggest drug crimes, such as bundles of coke heroin and the like.


26 posted on 12/19/2013 3:01:03 PM PST by Adder (No, Mr. Franklin, we could NOT keep it.)
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To: When do we get liberated?
Jesse James formented a revolt and killed people.

Thanks for sharpening my point.

27 posted on 12/19/2013 3:02:09 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: DannyTN

I wonder how many he pardoned were white.

Yes: as a racist I would like to know.

By the way were there any other commutations? Or were they all drug dealers and users, and who gave Obama the right to say what laws are not fair?

Maybe he will take all of them to Hawaii with him.


28 posted on 12/19/2013 3:05:19 PM PST by Venturer (Half Staff the Flag of the US for Terrorists.)
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To: bigdaddy45

It’s a life sentence of drug dependency for those who bought it and how many died from overdose, and what about the families of those he sold it to.

If I had my way drug dealers would be executed ,not given 20 years.


29 posted on 12/19/2013 3:07:00 PM PST by Venturer (Half Staff the Flag of the US for Terrorists.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

That isn’t all of the issue. Those higher sentencing guidelines were enacted because crack was running rampant through the inner city and the liberals were screaming about it. Most of the large cities in the country had crack wars going on for control of the local drug trade.


30 posted on 12/19/2013 3:10:58 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: Zakeet

“sentenced under an unfair system”

Hey Hussein: It’s not up to you to decide which laws are or are not fair. Now stop doing your level best to destroys America, you bastard.


31 posted on 12/19/2013 3:29:36 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

But packs much more punch than does the powder.

Cocaine is bad stuff for a person and for society — and crack is ten times as bad.


32 posted on 12/19/2013 3:35:31 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin
Hey Hussein: It’s not up to you to decide which laws are or are not fair.

Actually, the Presidential Pardon is one of the few legitimate jobs a President has. And it's telling that he's done it less than any of his predecessors. We should all wish that he and his successors spend a lot more time doing this and less messing up our lives.

33 posted on 12/19/2013 3:42:53 PM PST by Forgotten Amendments (I remember when a President having an "enemies list" was a scandal. Now, they have a kill list.)
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To: Forgotten Amendments

Pardon is one thing. Undercutting the very system of laws he swore to protect is another.


34 posted on 12/19/2013 3:47:57 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Zakeet

White House: “These crack offenders are being released because the justice system is fundamentally flawed. While those convicted of drug crimes involving the crack version of cocaine get mandatory sentences up to life without parole, those abusing powder cocaine get to party with celebrities and people like Larry Sinclair. They can even become president.”


35 posted on 12/19/2013 4:00:14 PM PST by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: Zakeet

Wait until you see Obama’s Pardon List out the day before the end of his term. It will make the Manhattan Metro phone book look small by comparison.


36 posted on 12/19/2013 4:04:00 PM PST by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Zakeet

If ZEROBAMA had prison friends they would look like him.


37 posted on 12/19/2013 4:06:18 PM PST by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: Venturer

Really? How about liquor store owners? What do you think we should do to them?


38 posted on 12/19/2013 4:41:34 PM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: lentulusgracchus

Like him or not, he’s the President. And the President has the power to issue pardons. Thats part of the deal. And if he wants to let out some small time drug dealer after 20 years in prison, I don’t have a problem with it.


39 posted on 12/19/2013 4:43:40 PM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: Zakeet

New world order needs to keep promoting its drug industry in the minds of the sheeple.


40 posted on 12/19/2013 4:44:22 PM PST by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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To: bigdaddy45

He has that power. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with it.


41 posted on 12/19/2013 4:44:38 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: lentulusgracchus

No, there is no remedy. Mandatory minimum sentence. Life without parole. End of story. Prosecutors, jurors and judges have no say when it comes to sentencing.

No one was arguing that the guy was innocent. The argument was that life without parole was overly harsh for a small time drug dealer.

“Raciss evil white people” have nothing to do with it. And why do you want to drag race into this?


42 posted on 12/19/2013 4:48:48 PM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: GeronL

So you think life in prison without parole is a fair sentence for small time drug dealing? You know how much it costs to keep those guys locked up?


43 posted on 12/19/2013 4:50:20 PM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: BenLurkin

Hey look, there are crappy laws. Example number one — Obamacare. And the Republicans tried to “undercut” it by not funding it. Your outrage is very selective.


44 posted on 12/19/2013 4:52:37 PM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: BenLurkin

Well if you feel that way, then to Hell with the chemistry or logic. Your subjective feelings are what’s important here.


45 posted on 12/19/2013 4:53:40 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: Zakeet
President Obama on Thursday commuted the prison sentences for eight people convicted of crack cocaine offenses

Good. Even a broken clock is right once in a while.

The War on Drugs is the epitome of Constitution-shredding, nanny-state Tyranny. Always has been. Always will be.

Prohibitionist authoritarians delude themselves when they say they believe in Liberty. They make a mockery of the word...

46 posted on 12/19/2013 4:56:01 PM PST by sargon (I don't like the sound of these here Boncentration Bamps!)
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To: bigdaddy45

Small time drug dealing?

First it was users and then dealers, whats next their hit men?


47 posted on 12/19/2013 4:57:18 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

If I “feel” that way?

Surely you know that crack is addictive and destructive. It is very much like meth.


48 posted on 12/19/2013 4:58:47 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: lentulusgracchus
If the prisoner's court that originally convicted him granted a resentencing on appeal, or his parole board said so, or the governor of his state agreed and granted a commutation, yes.

He was convicted in federal court, not state court, so none of those things could have happened-- a federal judge can only reduce a sentence within 14 days after it was imposed, or if the prosecutor requests it on grounds of the defendants' cooperation with other prosecutions; there is no such thing as parole in federal cases; and state governors cannot pardon federal convicts. For federal prisoners, it's a presidential pardon or nothing.

49 posted on 12/19/2013 4:58:55 PM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: BenLurkin
So is straight cocaine. Crack is 10% cocaine.

But you want to base sentences on ephemeral things like "surely you know."

Like I said, who needs science and logic when people like you can tell us "surely you know."

50 posted on 12/19/2013 5:04:55 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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