“President Obama today gave several Americans who were unnecessarily sentenced to die behind bars the chance to reunite with their families,” Vanita Gupta, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.
“This is one important step toward undoing the damage that extreme sentencing has done to so many in our criminal justice system,” Gupta said. “We hope the President will continue to exercise his clemency powers and lend his support to systemic reform that will make our criminal justice system smarter, fairer, and more humane.”
The President also granted pardons to the following thirteen individuals:
• William Ricardo Alvarez – Marietta, Ga.
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin ; conspiracy to import heroin (District of Puerto Rico)
Sentence: Nine months’ imprisonment, four years’ supervised release (Apr. 30, 1997; amended Jul. 31, 1997)
• Charlie Lee Davis, Jr. – Wetumpka, Ala.
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; use of a minor to distribute cocaine base (Middle District of Alabama)
Sentence: 87 months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release (Mar. 21, 1995)
• Ronald Eugene Greenwood – Crane, Mo.
Offense: Conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act (District of South Dakota)
Sentence: Three years’ probation, six months’ home confinement, 100 hours community service, $5,000 restitution, $1,000 fine (Nov. 18, 1996)
• Joe Hatch – Lake Placid, Fla.
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute marijuana (Southern District of Florida)
Sentence: 60 months’ imprisonment, four years’ supervised release (May 15, 1990)
• Martin Alan Hatcher. – Foley, Ala.
Offense: Distribution and possession with intent to distribute marijuana (Southern District of Alabama)
Sentence: Five years’ probation (Nov. 9, 1992)
• Derek James Laliberte – Auburn, Me.
Offense: Money laundering (District of Maine)
Sentence: 51 months’ imprisonment subsequently reduced to 18 months due to substantial assistance, 2 years’ supervised release (Oct. 2, 1992; amended May 21, 1993)
• Alfred J. Mack – Manassas, Va.
Offense: Unlawful distribution of heroin (District of Columbia)
Sentence: 18 to 54 months’ imprisonment (Apr. 5, 1982)
• Robert Andrew Schindler – Goshen, Va.
Offense: Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud (District of Utah)
Sentence: Three years’ probation, four months’ home confinement, $10,000 restitution (May 14, 1996)
• Willie Shaw, Jr. – Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Offense: Armed bank robbery (District of South Carolina)
Sentence: Fifteen years’ imprisonment (Aug. 7, 1974)
• Kimberly Lynn Stout – Bassett, Va.
Offense: Bank embezzlement; false entries in the books of a lending institution (Western District of Virginia)
Sentence: One day imprisonment, three years’ supervised release (including five months home confinement) (Nov. 9, 1993)
• Bernard Anthony Sutton, Jr. – Norfolk, Va.
Offense: Theft of personal property (Eastern District of Virginia)
Sentence: Three years’ probation, $825 restitution, $500 fine (Apr. 4, 1989)
• Chris Deann Switzer – Omaha, Neb.
Offense: Conspiracy to violate narcotics laws (District of Nebraska)
Sentence: Four years’ probation, six months home confinement, drug and alcohol treatment, 200 hours’ community service (Jun. 25, 1996)
• Miles Thomas Wilson – Williamsburg, Ohio.
Offense: Mail fraud (Southern District of Ohio)
Sentence: Three years’ imprisonment (suspended), three years’ supervised release (Jul. 15, 1981)
Margaret Love, a former Justice Department pardon lawyer who represents Clarence Aaron of Mobile, Alabama, who was serving life in prison for intent to sell cocaine, told The New York Times that she received a call informing her of the decision on Thursday morning and called her client, who along with his family was “very grateful.”
“He was absolutely overcome,” Love told The New York Times. “Actually, I was, too. He was in tears. This has been a long haul for him, 20 years. He just was speechless, and it’s very exciting.”