Clarence Aaron is one of 8 prisoners whose sentences were pardoned by President Obama on Thursday. Aaron is one of many first-time nonviolent drug offenders sentenced to life without parole. His story was widely used as a prime example of injustice within the prison system.
Before today’s clemency grants, President Obama had received over 8,700 commutation requests from federal prisoners and granted only one, to the late FAMM supporter Eugenia Jennings, who served 10 years of a 22-year sentence for selling a small amount of crack cocaine. Ms. Jennings was ill with leukemia when her sentence was commuted and, after a long fight with the disease, passed away at home on October 13, 2013, surrounded by her three children.
Aaron has been in prison for more than 20 years. Advocates for less harsh sentences for those convicted of nonviolent crimes hope that the pardon sparks change in legislation imposing mandatory minimum sentences.
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