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President Joe Biden utilized his executive clemency authority on Wednesday to expunge criminal records and decrease prison sentences for more than a dozen purported “non-violent drug offenders,” as reported by the Daily Mail.

The action was seen as both appropriate and paradoxical, considering Biden’s significant role in drafting and passing tough-on-crime legislation in the 1980s and 90s during his tenure as a senator from Delaware, which ultimately led to the lengthy incarcerations that are now being alleviated.

The White House released a list of recipients of pardon on Wednesday, detailing the names and backgrounds of 16 individuals who President Biden granted forgiveness and leniency for their past offenses.

Among these recipients, 11 received full pardons, resulting in the expungement of their criminal records.

The remaining five had their prison sentences reduced through commutation but will still carry criminal records, subject to conditions like supervised release and probation.

All of the individuals who received clemency had prior convictions for non-violent drug offenses.

In nearly all cases, it was noted that if they had been sentenced under current laws and practices, they would have received significantly lighter penalties.

Those granted pardons had already served their sentences and demonstrated reform through activities such as stable employment, pursuing education, or engaging in community service.

The five whose sentences were commuted had been convicted of trafficking or distributing cocaine or crack; although their time behind bars was reduced, they must still adhere to previous terms for supervised release and other requirements.

President Biden said in a statement, “America is a Nation founded on the promise of second chances. During Second Chance Month, we reaffirm our commitment to rehabilitation and reentry for people returning to their communities post incarceration.”

“We also recommit to building a criminal justice system that lives up to those ideals and ensures that everyone receives equal justice under law. That is why today I am announcing steps I am taking to make this promise a reality,” he continued.

“I am using my clemency power to pardon 11 individuals and commute the sentences of 5 individuals who were convicted of non-violent drug offenses,” Biden said. “Many of these individuals received disproportionately longer sentences than they would have under current law, policy, and practice.”

“The pardon recipients have demonstrated their commitment to improving their lives and positively transforming their communities,” he stated. “The commutation recipients have shown that they are deserving of forgiveness and the chance at building a brighter future for themselves beyond prison walls.”

“Like my other clemency actions, these pardons and commutations reflect my overarching commitment to addressing racial disparities and improving public safety,” the president added. “While today’s announcement marks important and continued progress, my Administration will continue to review clemency petitions and deliver reforms in a manner that advances equal justice, supports rehabilitation and reentry, and provides meaningful second chances.”

In 2019, The Washington Post reported on then-candidate Biden’s acknowledgment of changing his stance on criminal justice issues, particularly in response to criticism from the left.

As a senator from Delaware, he had played a key role in the “mass incarceration” of black Americans for drug offenses and the sentencing disparity between black and white offenders.

Biden spearheaded the writing and passing of a 1986 anti-drug bill that imposed harsher penalties on crack dealers compared to those caught with powder cocaine.

In 1994, he championed a strict anti-crime bill with the “three strikes” rule, leading to mandatory life sentences for repeat offenders, predominantly black males. However, he has since distanced himself from these controversial pieces of legislation.

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Doug Goldsmith

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12 comments

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  • Vote with me, I want to be your president,
    Can’t you see the election is just starting?
    I am failing, and I am falling
    Vote with me

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  • Americans (mainly those Conservative Voters): Hello. obiden joe…UNtruth, INjustice, and the NON-American way. DISGRACE.

  • No surprise. Enigma Joe is aimless in his convictions. They must be needed voters. Can’t be done on moral or ethical grounds because he has none.

  • So Guess Who Gets Pardoned Next?-Oh Wait!-Has to Be Actually Convicted First!-Just a Pause In The Direction That This Criminal Is Planning!-Mentally Incompetent To Be Tried And Convicted But Sane Enough To Be a Leader Of a Failing Country!-Says Much About The Revolving Door At The K.K.K. Club/White House!

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