Obama Commutes Sentences for Crack Cocaine Offenders | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Obama Commutes Sentences for Crack Cocaine Offenders

Citing the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, the president’s actions were part of his administration’s efforts to reduce harsh sentences and ease prison overcrowding.


Photo via Shutterstock

By Shawn Dwyer


| Share

On Thursday, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of eight prison inmates who were serving lengthy sentences for a variety of crack cocaine offenses. Of the eight convicts, six were destined to serve life in prison. 

The move came after the Justice Department recommended the cases to the president. It was the first time that a group of prisoners saw their sentences reduced retroactively under the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, a law passed with the intention of reducing punishment for those convicted of crack or powder cocaine offenses. “In several cases, the sentencing judges expressed frustration that the law at the time did not allow them to issue punishments that more appropriately fit the crime,” Obama said. “Commuting the sentences of these eight Americans is an important step toward restoring fundamental ideals of justice and fairness.”

Previously, President Obama had only commuted one prisoner, Eugenia Jennings, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2001. But under the 2010 law, the overwhelming sentencing disparity of crack and powder cocaine offenders had been greatly reduced even though prisoners convicted before the law took effect were still serving out their “unduly harsh” sentences. “If they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” said Obama. “Instead, because of a disparity in the law that is now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison, separated from their families and their communities, at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year.”

Reactions from the other side of the aisle were conspicuously quiet, as the Republican party by and large declined to comment. Perhaps they were too busy defending the bigoted comments of Duck Dynasty’s patriarch.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv