President Barack Obama Commutes Sentences of Philly-Area Crack, Other Drug Offenders - NBC 10 Philadelphia

President Barack Obama Commutes Sentences of Philly-Area Crack, Other Drug Offenders

White House commutes sentences of 95, pardons 2 in year-end spree

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    President Barack Obama Commutes Sentences of Philly-Area Crack, Other Drug Offenders
    AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
    President Barack Obama lessened the sentences of dozens of people.

    President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 95 offenders – including six drug offenders from the Philadelphia region – and pardoned two more in a year-end spree.

    Almost all of those receiving commuted sentences are non-violent drug offenders. Many were convicted of distributing or possessing cocaine or crack-cocaine. The commutations are the most that Obama has issued at once time.

    Four Philadelphia men, a Reading, Pennsylvania resident and a Lawrenceville, New Jersey man – three who were serving life sentences – were among those pardoned. Click here to learn more about each man’s crimes and when they will become free.

    Obama also pardoned an Ohio man sentenced to probation in a counterfeiting case and a Virginia woman sentenced to home detention and supervised release in a bank fraud case.

    The commutations aim to build momentum for Obama's broader push on criminal justice reform. Obama has sought to alleviate overcrowding in U.S. prisons by easing steep punishments for non-violent offenders. The White House has been working with lawmakers from both parties in an effort to overhaul U.S. sentencing.


    Thomas Daniels – Philadelphia, PA
    Offense: Distribution of cocaine; distribution of cocaine base ("crack cocaine") (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    Sentence: Life imprisonment (Jun. 26, 1996)
    Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

    Pedro Figueroa – Philadelphia, PA
    Offense: Conspiracy to distribute controlled substance; distribution of controlled substance, aiding and abetting (three counts); possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute, aiding and abetting (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine (Jul. 15, 2003)
    Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

    Alberto Gonzalez – Philadelphia, PA
    Offense: Conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine; distribution of 1,003 grams of cocaine (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (May 19, 2003)
    Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

    Kevin McDonald – Lawrenceville, NJ
    Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base “crack” (Eastern District of Virginia)
    Sentence: Life imprisonment (Oct. 17, 2005)
    Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

    David Padilla – Philadelphia, PA
    Offense: Conspiracy; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    Sentence: Life imprisonment plus 60 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Nov. 18, 1997)
    Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.
    (NPR covered Padilla's story)

    Felix Roman, Jr. – Reading, PA
    Offense: Possession of five grams or more of cocaine base “crack” with the intent to distribute; possession of marijuana with intent to distribute (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 15, 2003)
    Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.