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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

President Obama Grants 'Christmas' Commutations and Pardons

President Obama, in his last few weeks in office, granted commutation of sentence to 153 individuals and pardons to 78 individuals. To date, under his presidential power, Obama has granted clemency to nearly 1,200 individuals for mostly drug-related offenses.


President Obama greets inmates during a visit to El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla., July 16, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama greets inmates during a visit to El Reno Federal Correctional Institution
in El Reno, Okla., July 16, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).
It has been no secret that the United States imprisons more citizens, namely African American and other people of color, with longer sentences than than any other group (the stain of racism) for the same drug-related offenses.  President Obama has said that his commutations and pardons have been “another step forward in upholding our ideals of justice and fairness.” 


President Obama has commuted 1,176 sentences, more than the last 11 presidents combined.
White House graphic.

White Counsel Neil Eggleston wrote in a White House blog post that, "Today’s grants signify the President’s continued commitment to exercising his clemency authority through the remainder of his time in office.

Here are his latest pardons and commutations. Sadly, none are from this state.

·       Kendrick Tyshawn Akins – Coppell, TX
Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture or distribute cocaine, cocaine base, and marijuana; Eastern District of Texas
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (April 30, 2012)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Dale Wayne Aldridge – Unionville, MO
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute at least 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine; Southern District of Iowa
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (January 28, 2011)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment.

·       Demetri D. Alexander – Kansas City, KS
Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture cocaine base "crack" and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base "crack"; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; District of Kansas
Sentence: 180 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (July 24, 2007)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Billy Mel Alford – Terrell, TX
Offense: Importation of a quantity of marijuana (three counts); possession with intent to distribute a quantity of marijuana (three counts); Western District of Texas
Sentence: 480 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $200,000 fine (July 22, 1997); amended to 480 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $150,000 fine (July 27, 1998)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months' imprisonment, and unpaid balance of $150,000 fine remitted at the time of his release.

·       Antonio Jose Alonzo – Pelican Rapids, MN
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances; District of North Dakota
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (January 7, 2005)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to 292 months' imprisonment.

·       Maurice Anderson – Fort Worth, TX
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing cocaine; Northern District of Texas
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (October 20, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment.

·       Orasama Andrews – Jackson, GA
Offense:         1. Distribution of more than five grams of cocaine base; distribution of
                        more than 50 grams of cocaine base; Middle District of Georgia
2. Supervised release violation (Distribution of cocaine base); Middle District of Georgia
Sentence:       1. Life imprisonment (December 17, 2009)
2. 24 months' imprisonment (consecutive); 10 years' supervised release (December 17, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 188 months' imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Darrell Atkins – Detroit, MI
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver cocaine and crack cocaine; distribution of crack cocaine (three counts); Eastern District of Michigan
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $10,000 fine (July 23, 1996)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Hilario Avila – Whittier, CA
Offense:         1. Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;
                        Central District of California
2. Supervised release violation (Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine)
Sentence:       1. 240 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (March 6,
2006)
2. 33 months’ imprisonment (concurrent) (May 9, 2005)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Handy Bailey, Jr. – Orlando, FL
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (two counts); Middle District of Florida
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; eight years' supervised release (April 24, 1998)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Darryl Jerome Baker – Seffner, FL
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of cocaine base; Middle District of Florida
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (May 22, 2003)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to 360 months' imprisonment.

·       Johnny Ray Basham – Tulsa, OK
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession of a firearm during drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony; Northern District of Oklahoma
Sentence: 324 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $1,000 fine (January 11, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Rodney Bates – Milan, TN
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute 24.1 grams of cocaine base; Western District of Tennessee
Sentence: 188 months' imprisonment; four years' supervised release (August 10, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 31, 2017.

·       Roger Jerome Baylor – Montross, VA
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; distribution of cocaine base; Eastern District of Virginia
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (March 23, 2007); amended to 292 months' imprisonment (December 13, 2010); amended to 240 months' imprisonment (February 14, 2013)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 168 months' imprisonment.

·       Lee Henry Berry – Bay City, MI
Offense: Possess with intent to distribute less than five grams of cocaine base; possess with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base; possess with intent to distribute less than 500 grams of cocaine; felon in possession of one or more firearms; Eastern District of Michigan
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; six years' supervised release (December 20, 2007)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 180 months' imprisonment.

·       Peter Christian Boulette – Hattiesburg, MS
Offense:         1. Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of
methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine (two counts); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (two counts); felon in possession of a firearm; Northern District of Alabama
2. Possession of a firearm by a convicted person; possession of an unregistered firearm; Eastern District of Arkansas
Sentence:       1. 600 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (March 13,
                        2007)
2. 87 months’ imprisonment (concurrent); three years’ supervised release (March 3, 2008)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 300 months' imprisonment.

·       Gregory R. Boyd – Oakley, CA
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking offense; felon in possession of a firearm; District of Montana
Sentence: 420 months' imprisonment; eight years' supervised release (July 18, 2007)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Willie Brazile – Pensacola, FL
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (two counts); Northern District of Florida
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (September 10, 1996)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment.

·       Jason C. Brown – Chicago, IL
Offense: Possession of more than 50 grams of cocaine base "crack" with intent to distribute; Central District of Illinois
Sentence: 324 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (February 11, 2004)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Jermaine Brown – Hampton, VA
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine, cocaine base, and marijuana; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (two counts); distribution of cocaine base; Eastern District of Virginia
Sentence: 548 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (July 8, 2011); amended to 511 months' imprisonment (June 13, 2016)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 211 months' imprisonment.

·       Reuben Bullock – Rochester, NY
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; Western District of New York
Sentence: 210 months' imprisonment; six years' supervised release; $1,000 fine (October 30, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Amilcar Butler – Nashville, TN
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; attempt to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; Middle District of Tennessee
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (July 26, 2004)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment.

·       Arthur Lee Butler, Jr. – Greenville, NC
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine; District of South Carolina
Sentence: 120 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (November 18, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Jonathan Rodrico Carter – Anniston, AL
Offense: Possession with the intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing cocaine base; Northern District of Alabama
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (January 19, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Maurice Davon Cawthon – Milton, FL
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base; possession of a shotgun in relation to a drug trafficking offense; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession of an unregistered firearm with an overall length of less than 26 inches, including a barrel of less than 18 inches; Northern District of Florida
Sentence: 240 months' imprisonment; eight years' supervised release; $600 fine (December 17, 2004)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Emilio Chase – Baltimore, MD
Offense: Distribution of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school; Northern District of West Virginia
Sentence: 210 months' imprisonment; six years' supervised release; $1,100 fine (June 22, 2005)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Calvin Lavan Clark – Garner, NC
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack) and a quantity of cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; Eastern District of North Carolina
Sentence: 354 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (September 17, 2008)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Leonard A. Clement – Cooleemee, NC
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and cocaine base and possessing with intent to distribute marijuana; Western District of North Carolina
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (November 6, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment.

·       Troy V. Cleveland – Forestville, MD
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of "crack," use of persons under 18 years to distribute, and distribute "crack" to persons under 18 years of age; distribute 50 grams or more of "crack"; Eastern District of Virginia
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (March 18, 1994)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 328 months' imprisonment.

·       Keith O. Cobb – Waco, TX
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine; conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (a)(1)(B)(i) -- money laundering; Western District of Texas
Sentence: 400 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (April 7, 1995)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, and unpaid balance of the $10,000 fine remitted at the time of his release, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Gregory Anthony Collins – Greenville, IL
Offense: Engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise; employing a person under 18 in drug trafficking; money laundering; Southern District of Illinois
Sentence: Life imprisonment (April 10, 1992)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months' imprisonment.

·       Jeremy Conner – Tarrant, AL
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; felon in possession of a firearm; Northern District of Alabama
Sentence: Life plus 60 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (December 10, 2008); amended to 240 months' imprisonment (October 26, 2011)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 180 months' imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Adrian Lyndell Cook – Murfreesboro, NC
Offense:         1. Possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; Eastern District of
                        Virginia
2. Supervised release violation (possession with intent to distribute cocaine base); Eastern District of Virginia
Sentence:       1. 240 months' imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (October 6, 2008); amended to 168 months’ imprisonment (October 24, 2013)
2. 60 months' imprisonment (concurrent) (August 5, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Richard David Courville – Alpine, TX
Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine; manufacture of methamphetamine (two counts); Northern District of Alabama
Sentence: 262 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release; $4,000 fine; $6,146 restitution (April 23, 2002)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Theartis Daniels – Punta Gorda, FL
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; Middle District of Florida
Sentence: Life plus 60 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (June 1, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Michael Leroy Darity – Arden, NC
Offense: Conspiracy to unlawfully manufacture and distribute cocaine base; Western District of North Carolina
Sentence: 384 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (January 29, 1998); amended to 308 months' imprisonment (January 18, 2016)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Larry Lamont Davie – Oak Grove, KY
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing cocaine base; aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing cocaine base; possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; Western District of Kentucky
Sentence: 180 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (January 8, 2007)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Travis Davis – Galesburg, IL
Offense: Possession of more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack); Central District of Illinois
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (August 31, 2007); amended to 280 months' imprisonment (March 13, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Milton DeJesus-Bones – Philadelphia, PA
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; Southern District of Florida
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (January 30, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to 360 months' imprisonment.

·       Terrance Terell Dendy – Seneca, SC
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine; felon in possession of a firearm; possession of a firearm in connection with a felony; District of South Carolina
Sentence: 180 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (May 25, 2010)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Marcus Louis Diaz – Amarillo, TX
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture of methamphetamine; Western District of Texas
Sentence: 262 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (February 21, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Anthony Timothy Dodd – Davenport, IA
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine; Southern District of Iowa
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (May 25, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to 240 months' imprisonment.

·       Curtis Drayton – Prattville, AL
Offense: Engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise; distribution of cocaine base (four counts); possession with intent to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting; Middle District of Alabama
Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years' supervised release (May 22, 1995)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Enoch Edison – Baltimore, MD
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, cocaine, and marijuana; District of Maryland
Sentence: 240 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (December 7, 2007)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       George Ralph Ellis – Birmingham, AL
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing marijuana; carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; possession with intent to distribute fifty (50) grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base; Northern District of Alabama
Sentence: 180 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (July 18, 2005)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Korell Ellis – Fairmont, NC
Offense: Possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base; use or carry a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; Eastern District of North Carolina
Sentence: 295 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $14,330 fine (March 12, 2002); amended to 248 months' imprisonment (October 7, 2015)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017 and unpaid balance of the $14,330 fine remitted.

·       Samuel Stevens Farmer – Madison, FL
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base (four counts); Northern District of Florida
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (June 15, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Travis Nathaniel France – Marion, VA
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; Western District of Virginia
Sentence: 262 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release; $450 fine (December 8, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 188 months' imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Tammie Twyone Francis – Lee’s Summit, MO
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; Western District of Missouri
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (June 28, 1996)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months' imprisonment.

·       Marcus Emile Franklin – Chester, SC
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine; District of South Carolina
Sentence: 240 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (April 21, 2006)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Paul Free – Coronado, CA
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana; Eastern District of Michigan
Sentence: Life imprisonment (June 14, 1995)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 360 months' imprisonment.

·       Cecil Ray Frye, Jr. – Saraland, AL
Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking felony (two counts); Southern District of Alabama
Sentence: 548 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $9,546 restitution (December 4, 2003); amended to 300 months' imprisonment (September 11, 2007)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 211 months' imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.  

·       Angel Garcia-Bercovich – Phoenix, AZ
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 or more kilograms of marijuana; possession with intent to distribute 100 or more kilograms of marijuana; Northern District of Florida
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; eight years' supervised release (April 7, 2008)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Anthony DeWayne Gillis – Supply, VA
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; false statements (three counts); possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking (six counts); possession of a sawed-off shotgun; Eastern District of Virginia
Sentence: 1,748 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (October 14, 2005); amended to 1,711 months' imprisonment (November 2, 2010); amended to 1,681 months' imprisonment (December 28, 2015)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment.

·       Aaron Glasscock – Lebanon, KY
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine; Northern District of Florida
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (February 17, 2000); amended to 292 months' imprisonment (November 1, 2015)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Alpidio Gonzalez – McAllen, TX
Offense:         1. Violation of the Federal Controlled Substance Act; Eastern District of
                        Louisiana
2. Supervised release violation (Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana)
Sentence:       1. 360 months' imprisonment; eight years' supervised release (March 12,
            2008)
            2. 37 months’ imprisonment (concurrent) (May 16, 2008)         
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment.

·       Franklin Goodwin, Jr. – Leavenworth, KS
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base or possess with intent to distribute or distribute cocaine; use of a communication facility to facilitate the offense of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; District of Kansas
Sentence: Life imprisonment; one year's supervised release (October 28, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Gary Lee Gordon – Laurel, MT
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; District of Montana
Sentence: 290 months' imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (January 25, 2008); amended to 220 months' imprisonment (October 1, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2017.

·       Willie Goudeau – Dallas, TX
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana; Eastern District of Texas
Sentence: 292 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $25,000 fine (September 20, 2006); amended to 235 months' imprisonment (October 27, 2015)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017 and unpaid balance of the $25,000 fine remitted.

·       Robert James Graves – Nathalie, VA 
Offense: Continuing criminal enterprise; Western District of Virginia
Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years' supervised release (June 8, 2000)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018,  conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Jeffrey Gray – Alexandria, VA
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine; attempt to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime; money laundering; felon in possession of a firearm; District of Delaware
Sentence: 480 months' imprisonment; lifetime supervised release (December 22, 2008); amended to 384 months' imprisonment (December 22, 2015)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 240 months' imprisonment.

·       John Gronski – Gillette, WY
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute methamphetamine; District of Wyoming
Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $4,000 fine (May 14, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

·       Joseph Lee Gulledge, Jr. – Chattanooga, TN
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base; Eastern District of Tennessee
Sentence: 120 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (April 6, 2009)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

·       Gregory J. Hall – Alachua, FL

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute.

It is believed there will more commutations and pardons before Obama's last official day in office. 

In contrast (although not drug-related), it will be interesting to see if incoming president Donald Trump, will follow suit. Trump hasn't minced words when it comes to jailing people he deems 'criminal'. He ran his presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton using the phrase, "Lock her up!"  Trump also played a significant part in having imprisoned five African American teenagers in 1989 who were wrongly accused and convicted on charges of rape.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My Brother's Keeper: Plans of Action That Help America's Young Boys Attain Success Garners Even More Support

The White House convened a summit today highlighting the work of the Obama administration's My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative, announcing even more support from community partners, businesses and governmental entities across the nation. In just three short years since its start in 2014 MBK has amassed more programs directed toward providing young boys of color a direct path to success than any other of its kind.

During today's summit, the final under the Obama administration, several key successes were recognized including new federal commitments that cover the National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center,  Increasing Data Transparency to Understand and Develop Strategies to Improve Youth Outcomes; and New Federal Investments to Meet the Needs of Current and Former Foster Youth.

"It's almost three years ago, we launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to give more of our young people the tools and the support that they need to stay on track for a bright future", President Obama said today to MBK supporters and participants.  We knew this couldn’t just be a government initiative.


The MBK initiative received an overwhelming response across the nation with more than a billion dollars invested into the work of MBK from businesses and foundations.

"And I've just got to say, the response was incredible.  Hundreds of you -- mayors, tribal leaders, county executives have created MBK communities in all 50 states, as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico", the president said.

[See also MBK: A Day of Action]

MBK has garnered new support from private sector communities that focus on Expanded Investment in MBK Community Challenge Acceptors in California, Multiplying Commitment to Inspire and Recruit Mentors, Expanding Support for the MBK Community Challenge and a new Data Dashboard Platforms to Support MBK Communities.

More on the support the MBK initiative has received from both private and governmental entities are below:

Recent Federal Commitments in Support of MBK

·         New Regulations and Supporting Documents to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in IDEA. Delivering on MBK Task Force recommendations, the U.S. Department of Education published final regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that will address a number of issues related to significant disproportionality in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities based on race or ethnicity. The Department also released a new Dear Colleague Letter to remind states, school districts, and public schools of their legal obligation to prevent discrimination on the basis of race in special education.

·         Supporting Reentry Pathways for Youth Transitioning from Juvenile Justice Facilities. The Department of Education released new guidance and technical assistance materials that will help State and local leaders provide transition assistance to youth reentering the community from juvenile justice facilities. These resources, which are available at www.ed.gov/jjreentry, can help local systems provide strong support for youth transitioning out of juvenile justice facilities, to ensure that they are able to successfully rejoin their communities, continue their education, and fulfill their potential.

·         White House Report: The Continuing Need to Rethink Discipline. The White House released a new capstone report with updates about projects launched and local progress made in response to the Administration’s Rethink Discipline efforts. Rethink Discipline was launched as part of MBK and aims to support all students and promote a welcome and safe climate in schools. The full report is available HERE. The White House also convened stakeholders and leaders to discuss the progress made and the work ahead to encourage and support local leaders as they work to implement supportive school discipline practices.

New Private Sector Commitments in Support of MBK

·         Expanded Investment in MBK Community Challenge Acceptors in California. The California Endowment announced an additional commitment of $25 million over the next four years in support of healthier outcomes and improved well-being of boys and young men of color in California.  This commitment builds on an earlier pledge by the foundation, bringing the total support to a projected $75 million over seven years from 2013 to 2020.  These resources are supporting partnerships and other activities at the local level across the state of California, and are intended to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and replace it with a meaningful pathway to health and opportunity for young men of color.

·         Multiplying Commitment to Inspire and Recruit Mentors. In July of 2014, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced a five-year commitment to support My Brother’s Keeper. As part of this commitment, the NBA family partnered with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to support their “In Real Life” campaign and set a goal to recruit 25,000 new mentors over five years, with a focus on adult males of color. Less than three years into the partnership, already more than 25,000 Americans have signed up to become mentors and been connected directly to a mentoring program in their community. Going forward, the NBA family is renewing its commitment to mentoring by setting a new goal of increasing sign-ups by an additional 25,000 adult mentors. Find out more and get involved at www.mentoring.org

·         Expanding Support for the MBK Community Challenge. In 2017, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance will launch a wide array of investments available to the nearly 250 cities, towns, counties and tribal nations that accepted the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge communities, including: a comprehensive online support platform that will house local and national data dashboards, interactive mapping and milestone components, a webinar and events portal, and a curated resource library; a suite of online trainings to build a community of learning and practice around topics such as data and impact, leadership development, collective action management, institutional implicit bias, program design and delivery, and mentoring strategies; and building off of the success of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper National Summit, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance will host a national summit to explore “what works” in communities across the country, provide in-depth technical assistance to clusters of practitioners, and elevate successes and challenges to inform a national agenda for boys and young men of color in 2017.

·         New Data Dashboard Platforms to Support MBK Communities. In 2017, to help jurisdictions across the country better gather and share their equity data, Bloomberg Associates and PolicyLink will be working in partnership with MBKA to build an open platform for jurisdictions to produce their own MBK dashboards, merging administrative and social media data with national sources of information. The goal will be to provide clear guidance on how to pull data from agencies across city, county and state sources, and present it in a clear and unified way to allow local partners to know exactly how young men are faring in their jurisdictions, and to track progress. The platform will be free and accompanied by strong visualization tools, and the opportunity for comparative analysis across cities and states.

Show Your MBK ImpactShowcase the impact that you have made over these past two years and also to recruit more members of your communities to the work.

Want to start an MBK initiative in your city? Here's how you can get involved. #MentorsWanted