Joe Biden has given out three full presidential pardons and 75 commutations.
The majority of those who had their sentences commuted were in for drug offenses. They were already on home arrest, due to COVID restrictions about housing people in jail.
Biden said America is a nation of “second chances” and these people deserve another opportunity to live their lives.
Here’s who Biden pardoned…
BREAKING: President Biden is using his clemency powers for the first time, announcing three pardons & the commutations of 75 sentences of nonviolent drug offenders. Criminal justice advocates urged him to grant leniency in a system that disproportionately affects people of color.
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) April 26, 2022
Who Did Biden Pardon?
Biden’s three full pardons stretched back to the President John F. Kennedy era and included the first black Secret Service agent, Abraham Bolden, who is now 86.
When he was only 28 and working for JFK, Bolden tried to sell a classified file while serving as JFK’s bodyguard. He got caught and went to trial, where the jury was split. A second trial led to his conviction.
Bolden long said he did not do anything wrong and was the victim of a racist backlash in the Secret Service where individuals framed him for a crime he never did. Bolden has now received a full pardon.
Betty Jo Bogans
The second individual Biden gave a full pardon to is Betty Jo Bogans, who was found guilty of trying to transport crack in the late 1990s, along with her boyfriend.
She was hit with seven years in prison and has since suffered cancer and had a son. Her crime is now pardoned and gone from her record.
The third individual to receive a full pardon is 52-year-old Dexter Jackson, who was found guilty of using his billiards room as a cannabis drug dealing hub in the early 2000s.
He served a few years in jail and afterward became a community leader, even turning his billiard club into a place for teens to come work repairing cellphones.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 26, 2022
Biden’s Record on Crime
At one time, Biden was actually quite tough on crime and helped pass the 1994 crime bill that made harsher sentencing.
This bill has come to be seen as racially prejudiced, however, because it led to many black people going to jail for a longer time for drug dealing and possession.
President Trump put through reduction in sentencing for non-violent drug crime in 2018, which also would have led to smaller sentences for many of the 75 individuals Biden commuted if they’d been sentenced after 2018.
Trump gave out full pardons to 143 individuals and commuted the sentences of 237 prisoners, working with justice reform activist Alice Johnson, whose sentence he commuted in 2018.
Biden and the Democrats have had a tough time establishing a clear line on crime.
As the violent crime and murder rate grows in blue cities, Biden has been incompetent at putting a stop to it, but he’s also under a lot of pressure to commute more sentences and go easier on drug crimes.
What do you think about these pardons?