One of the constitutionally defined powers of the presidency is that of clemency and the executive authority to offer people pardons for past offenses and commutations of sentences that remain to be served.
President Joe Biden exercised his clemency powers on Friday by extending full pardons to six individuals who had already served out their sentences following convictions for various crimes committed years ago, the Daily Wire reported.
One of the individuals pardoned had been convicted of murder while the others had been convicted for an assortment of alcohol and drug-related charges. All had already served their time and gone on to live exemplary and successful lives after being released.
Past offenses pardoned
According to a clemency recipient list released by the White House, President Biden pardoned Beverly An Ibn-Tamas, 80, who had been convicted of second-degree murder at the age of 33 and while pregnant after she killed her physically abusive husband, and ultimately served one to five years in prison.
Biden also pardoned Gary Parks Davis, 66, who had been convicted at the age of 22 for using a phone to facilitate a cocaine transaction and served a six-month sentence on nights and weekends at a county jail.
Edward Lincoln De Coito III, 50, was also granted a pardon for a conviction at age 23 for his role as a courier in a broader marijuana trafficking conspiracy.
A pardon was also extended to Vincent Ray Flores, 37, who at age 19 had been court-martialed by the U.S. Air Force after being busted for consuming alcohol and ecstasy while serving in the military.
Then there is Charlie Byrnes Jackson, 77, who had been caught at age 18 making an illegal alcohol sale that resulted in a sentence of five years probation.
Finally, John Dix Nock III, 72, was pardoned from his conviction nearly 30 years ago for allowing a place that he owned to be used by others for the illegal cultivation of marijuana plants.
First round of clemency in April
This actually wasn’t the first time that President Biden has made use of his authority to issue pardons and commutations for prior criminal convictions, as he first did so in April.
At that time, Biden pardoned Abraham Bolden Sr., 86, the first black Secret Service agent to serve on a presidential detail, who’d been convicted more than 50 years ago in a dubious trial for allegedly attempting to sell Secret Service files that may have been retaliation for his speaking out against racism and unprofessionalism in the agency.
Biden also pardoned Betty Jo Bogans, 51, who was convicted in the 1990s and served seven years for transporting cocaine on behalf of her dealer boyfriend and an accomplice who went uncharged.
A pardon was also issued for Dexter Eugene Jackson, 52, who had been convicted in 2002 and served time for allowing his place of business to be used by others as a distribution hub for marijuana traffickers.
President Biden also commuted the remaining sentences of 75 other individuals at that time, each of whom had been imprisoned for some sort of drug-related offense, most typically possession with intent to distribute but also other offenses like the importation or manufacturing of various drugs and, in some cases, money laundering or other financial crimes stemming from the illicit drug trade.