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January 20, 2021

Prez Trump grants 73 pardons and 70 commutations in final hours in office

As detailed in this official statement, Prez Trump has "granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 individuals."  The list of recipients strikes me as notably diverse, with some well-known names sure to cause controversy (e.g., Steve Bannon) as well as plenty of lesser-known individuals.  Here are just a few on the names on the list catching my eye upon first review: 

John Knock – President Trump commuted the sentence of John Knock.  This commutation is supported by his family.  Mr. Knock is a 73 year-old man, a first-time, non-violent marijuana only offender, who has served 24 years of a life sentence....

Michael Pelletier – President Trump commuted the sentence of Michael Pelletier.  Mr. Pelletier is a 64 year-old who has served 12 years of a 30 year sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana....

Craig Cesal – President Trump commuted the sentence of Craig Cesal.  Mr. Cesal is a father of two, one of whom unfortunately passed away while he was serving his life sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana....

Chalana McFarland – President Trump commuted the sentence of Chalana McFarland.  Ms. McFarland has served 15 years of a 30-year sentence....

Chris Young – President Trump commuted the remaining sentence of Chris Young.  This commutation is supported by the Honorable Kevin H. Sharp, Mr. Young’s sentencing judge, former law enforcement officials and Federal prosecutors, and multitudes of criminal justice reform advocates....

Amy Povah – President Trump granted a full pardon to Amy Povah, the founder of the CAN-DO (Clemency for All Non-violent Drug Offenders) Foundation.  In the 1990s, Ms. Povah served 9 years of a 24 year sentence for a drug offense before President Clinton commuted her remaining prison sentence in 2000.  Since her release, she has become a voice for the incarcerated, a champion for criminal justice reform, and was a strong advocate for the passage of the First Step Act....

Kwame Kilpatrick – President Trump commuted the sentence of the former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Malik Kilpatrick. This commutation is strongly supported by prominent members of the Detroit community, Alveda King, Alice Johnson, Diamond and Silk, Pastor Paula White, Peter Karmanos, Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo of the Michigan House of Representatives, Representative Karen Whitsett of the Michigan House of Representatives, and more than 30 faith leaders....

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. – President Trump granted a full pardon to Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., also known as “Lil Wayne.”  Mr. Carter pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, owing to a conviction over 10 years ago....

Shalom Weiss – President Trump commuted the sentence of Shalom Weiss.  This commutation is supported by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, former Solicitors General Ken Starr and Seth Waxman, former United States Representative Bob Barr, numerous members of the New York legislature, notable legal figures such as Professor Alan Dershowitz and Jay Sekulow, former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman, and various other former elected officials. 

There are many more notable names on this last big clemency list, and it certainly seems like there are many more deserving cases than undeserving ones this time around.  I expect we will be hearing a lot more about some of these recipients, both good and bad, in the days ahead.  But because thislist maeks the end of the Trump term, it is now time to turn to urging the Biden Administration to do more and more grants and to adopt a new and improved clemency process.

January 20, 2021 at 01:29 AM | Permalink

Comments

I am a Defendant who is about to be sentenced to 13-20 months active prison time in North Carolina for a non violent petty drug charge. A Death sentence in & of itself, surly!! A Death Sentence…

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
8:50 AM

A Death Sentence… I am reaching out to address a situation I have found myself, once again, involved in. I am looking at an Active prison sentence of 13-20 months in the North Carolina Prison System! All told I have already done 12 1/2 years of incarceration. For the same thing...the definition of insanity??...

To start at the beginning would be to begin with the end…

I am 64 years old, a recovering addict (finally) It took a lot of hard, tear filled years behind those prison walls before I finally breached the addictive personality I had so carefully cultivated. The walls & barriers I had built, layer upon layer of lies, slathered with deceit, sealed with self sabotage came tumbling down around me.. I began to embrace this novel idea of sobriety.
Until I was incarcerated in North Carolina I was never offered any sort of Recovery programs. After spending 2 years in Swannanoa Correctional Institution, an Honor Grade Camp located in the Swannanoa Valley nestled amongst the Blueridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, 3 years of Drug offender probation, weekly drug screens, I graduated back into the free world.
Only to be caught up with a C.I. (Confidential Informant) For one weekend I fell back into the old grunge, I picked up some cocaine (.2 grams then .4 grams) Mere crumbs!! After being badgered by this man…many text messages & phone calls later I fell into the abyss of the Cleveland County Narcotics Squad...Charged with 2 counts of Sales & Delivery W/ISMD (Intent to sell, manufacture & Deliver) I am now looking at a DEATH SENTENCE…

I am the sole caregiver of my 84 year old Mother. She suffers from a low immune disease called Thrombosis…Her Platelets are too low. I, myself suffer from several pre-covid-existing chronic medical issues, C.O.P.D., Osteoarthritis, Neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, Cystoid Pancreatitis, along with several more. For me to enter the Festering Prison System at this time would absolutely be a Death Sentence...
I managed to get a continuance on my court date. In January I am expected to enter into a Plea agreement for 13-20 months, to be remanded into custody to begin sentence in Raleigh, NC Prison.
I'm not afraid of the time, this I could do standing on my head if it were not for this Pandemic & the fact that my Mom is so ill & in need of my caregiving. I need a Prison Diversion, an Alternative sentence.
I need an Advocate!! Please help me to reach out in the right direction!?
Thank you,

Sharky

Lyrehcseseer@gmail.com

Posted by: Scheryl Kniebes Reese | Jan 20, 2021 8:16:54 AM

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