Commutations

Trump Grants Clemency to 5 More Federal Prisoners

All five cases were recommended to the White House by commutation recipient Alice Marie Johnson.

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President Donald Trump has granted clemency to five federal inmates, putting the total for his first term at 16 commutations and 27 pardons.

On Wednesday the White House announced that Trump had commuted the sentences of five prisoners who have already served years in federal prison for drug or fraud crimes. Lenora Logan served 27 years for a cocaine conspiracy conviction; Rashella Reed served 14 years for wire fraud and money laundering for her role in a massive million-dollar food stamp laundering scheme; Charles Tanner has served 16 years in prison out of what was initially a life sentence for a drug conspiracy conviction; John Bolen has served 13 years in prison for using his boat to transport cocaine from the Bahamas to Florida.

The fifth recipient, 70-year-old Curtis McDonald, has served nearly 24 years in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering. McDonald was part of the same Memphis drug ring Alice Marie Johnson participated in, and the two of them were sentenced to life in prison.

Johnson is the most famous of Trump's non-political clemency recipients, largely because her release was proposed to Trump by Kim Kardashian West. Trump commuted her sentence in 2018. Johnson has been a vocal supporter of Trump ever since and even appeared at the Republican National Convention (after which, Trump fully pardoned her).

According to the Associated Press, Johnson pushed these five commutations in visits to the White House and said she was thankful the administration agreed.

These five new commutations further push Trump ahead of President Barack Obama at this point in Obama's term. Obama at this point had pardoned 16 people and commuted only one sentence. Obama ultimately would commute more than 1,700 sentences toward the end of his second term.

Trump has been attempting to hit Democratic nominee Joe Biden for his support and role in the passage of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which has been criticized for exacerbating the trend toward disproportionately long mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes. Biden's criminal justice platform now rejects the policies he used to support. Don't be surprised if the commutations announced Wednesday become a point of discussion in tonight's debates.

NEXT: On Criminal Justice, Trump and Biden Are Running Against Their Own Records

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    1. Worst racist tyrant ever!!

      1. Undoing all the noble work of the distinguished Senator from Delaware. For shame sir, for shame.

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      2. Beat me to it.

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      3. Yep he’d being racist all wron

        1. Worst Hitler ever.

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  3. Probably fair to say that Trump has improved more black lives than all the BLM protests, even the ones that weren’t riots.

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  4. >>13 years in prison for using his boat to transport cocaine from the Bahamas to Florida

    dude does us a solid and we stick him in jail for it? awful.

  5. Trump stokes racial tensions by releasing a hard-core drug trafficker into the black community !!! or something

    No, really. Good for Trump. Good for Alice. Let’s review more of those Biden-era draconian drug-law sentences.

  6. Democrats couldnt involuntarily enslave people so they used drug crimes to imprison Black Americans for victimless crimes then used that labor and the body count in the PIC.

    Black Americans are leaving the Democrat Party because of this.

  7. This entire article “requires a deep well of gullibility to believe.”

    – C.J. Ciaramella

    1. I sense the fear democrats are losing control over their plantation.

      Will they scream at the moon again when Trump wins a second term? I hope so. Their tears are delicious.

      1. The moment that the Democrats realize that they can’t rely on Black votes anymore, is the moment that they normalize “scientific racism” again.

  8. Radley Balko is now reconsidering his opposition to the death penalty if it can be applied to Alice Marie Johnson

    1. It is usually rediscovered at some point between standing on a breadline and cleaning the latrines in a labor camp.

      1. standing on a breadline

        Democrats: Those are good things!

        1. Laughably true.

  9. “16 commutations and 27 pardons”

    Just a nitpick – the constitutional language is “The President…shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

    So a commutation would have to fit into one of those boxes – pardon or reprieve. The Heritage Foundation site on the constitution classifies commutations as reprieves, while I’ve also seen it more generally classified as a form of pardon – a partial pardon.

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    On Criminal Justice, Trump and Biden Are Running Against Their Own Records

    “We’d rather have a guy in the white house who has thrown thousands of people in jail and whispers sweet nothings in our ears than a guy who has signed the first criminal justice reform bill in the history of the country, giving us our wet dream of releasing violent criminals into your neighborhoods, and issuing more pardons than our chocolate messiah because shut up bot!”

    1. I thought the juxtaposition of the two articles on the “Latest” page was quite hilarious.

  11. DON’T like the pardon for food-stamp fraud.
    Drug offenses? Sure. Right on!

    1. DON’T like the pardon for food-stamp fraud.

      Not fraud, laundering. I would agree that he should be cutting food stamps but, on the whole, he forgave a private individual at the federal level for non-violently (and relatively non-disruptively) undermining a government program. I don’t see a libertarian principle that delineates how you could/would forgive someone for drug trafficking but not for food stamp laundering.

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