Old Uncle Joe put forth his first wave of Pardons on Tuesday morning targeting three people, which includes a former Secret Service agent, and is slated to reduce the sentences of another 75 people in order to mark the start of Clemency and Second Chance Month.
The effort seems to force its attention on dropping sentences for non-violent drug crimes as we head into the midterm election period.
“Today, I am pardoning three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities,” Biden stated via a statement this past Tuesday.
“I am also commuting the sentences of 75 people who are serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses, many of whom have been serving on home confinement during the COVID-pandemic—and many of whom would have received a lower sentence if they were charged with the same offense today, thanks to the bipartisan First Step Act,” he stated.
One of the three people slated to be pardoned is Abraham Bolden, “an 86-year-old former U.S. Secret Service agent and was the first African American to serve on a presidential detail. In 1964, Mr. Bolden was charged with offenses related to attempting to sell a copy of a Secret Service file.”
Biden also promised to issue a pardon to Betty Jo Bogans of Houston, Texas. One comment from the White House states that Bogan “is a 51-year-old woman who was convicted in 1998 of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in the Southern District of Texas after attempting to transport drugs for her boyfriend and his accomplice, neither of whom were detained or arrested.”
The third person to receive one of these presidential pardons is Dexter Jackson, aged 52 from Atlanta, Georgia. “Mr. Jackson was not personally involved in trafficking marijuana, but allowed marijuana distributors to use his pool hall to facilitate drug transactions,” read a comment from the White House.
The vast majority of the 75 people on the list to be given reduced sentencing as seen in the White House statement received their convictions for entirely non-violent drug cases.
Along with the issuing of these three pardons and the commuting of the sentences of quite a few others, Biden plans to introduce a bevy of policies throughout a $145 million job training program for all federal prisons.
This partnership of the Department of Justice and Department of Labor has been labelled by the White House as “a first-of-its-kind collaboration to invest $145 million over FY22-FY23 to provide job skills training and individualized employment and reentry plans for people incarcerated in Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities, and to provide pathways for a seamless transition to employment and reentry support upon release.”
Biden also took time to speak about these pardons as part of America’s focus on more second chances.
“America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation. During Second Chance Month, I am using my authority under the Constitution to uphold those values by pardoning and commuting the sentences of fellow Americans,” stated POTUS.
America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation. During Second Chance Month, I am using my authority under the Constitution to uphold those values by pardoning and commuting the sentences of fellow Americans.
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 26, 2022