Biden pardons 11 drug criminals

 December 23, 2023

President Joe Biden just pardoned 11 drug dealers. 

The White House announced Biden's clemency actions in a statement that it released on Friday.

The statement reads:

First, I am commuting the sentences of 11 people who are serving disproportionately long sentences for non-violent drug offenses. All of them would have been eligible to receive significantly lower sentences if they were charged with the same offense today.

The details

Fox News provides the details about the 11 drug dealers to whom Biden granted clemency.

The outlet reports:

The individuals receiving clemency include: Felipe Arriaga of Sunnyside, Washington; Earlie Deacon Barber of Dothan, Alabama; James Michael Barber of Gastonia, North Carolina; Anthony Ewing of Union City, Georgia; Quittman Andre Goodley of Austin, Texas; Deondre Cordell Higgins of Kansas City, Missouri; Leroy Lymons of Pensacola, Florida; Angel Rosario of Allentown, Pennsylvania; Esaias Tucker of Tallahassee, Florida; Darryl Allen Winkfield of Augusta, Georgia; and Kenneth Winkler of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Fox adds, "Two of the individuals were charged related to distribution of methamphetamine, while the other nine were convicted on charges related to distribution of cocaine or crack."

Biden, however, did more than just pardon these 11 individuals.

Biden's proclamation

In addition to pardoning these 11 individuals, Biden also announced a proclamation pardoning other drug-related offenses.

The White House's statement reads:

Second, following my pardon of prior federal and D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana, I am issuing a Proclamation that will pardon additional offenses of simple possession and use of marijuana under federal and D.C. law.

According to the Associated Press, this proclamation will result in the pardon of thousands of people. Per the outlet:

President Joe Biden pardoned thousands of people who were convicted of use and simple possession of marijuana on federal lands and in the District of Columbia . . .

Making America "safer and stronger"?

Biden claims that the pardons were necessary to promote "the principle of equal justice under the law," adding that America's "criminal justice system can and should reflect this core value that makes our communities safer and stronger."

How exactly these pardons make American communities "safer and stronger" is unclear.

Biden wrote:

Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana.  It’s time that we right these wrongs.

Fox reports: "Biden has issued a total of 12 pardons as president, and offered 114 commutations."

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