President Biden offers clemency to former secret service agent and 75 nonviolent drug offenders
President Joe Biden announced clemency for 78 individuals on Tuesday
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that he would be granting three pardons, as well as commutations to 75 individuals, along with a job reentry program to aid those who are in prison or recently released.
- Abraham Bolden Sr.: The 86-year-old was the first African American to serve on a presidential detail in the Secret Service, and served under President John F. Kennedy. Bolden faced bribery charges after being charged with attempting to sell a copy of a Secret Service file, according to The Associated Press.
- Bolden’s first trial ended in a hung jury and he was convicted in his second trial. Even when key witnesses against him admitted to lying at the prosecutor’s request, Bolden was denied a third trial and served several years in federal custody. He has continued to maintain his innocence, stating that he was targeted for exposing racist behavior within the U.S. Secret Service, according to a statement from the White House.
- Betty Jo Bogans: Bogans is 51, and was convicted in 1998 of “possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine,” after trying to transport drugs for her boyfriend and his accomplice, who were not detained or arrested, according to the White House.
- The White House stated that Bogans served a seven-year sentence and since then has maintained consistent employment, raised her son, and has even undergone treatment for cancer.
- Dexter Eugene Jackson: Jackson is 52 and was convicted for using his business to distribute marijuana in 2002. Jackson himself was not involved in selling drugs, but he allowed others to use his pool hall to do so.
- Since then, Jackson has started a cellphone repair service and hires local high school students to provide them with job experience. He also builds affordable homes in places that lack “quality affordable housing,” the White House said.
Commutations: The president will also be using his clemency powers for the first time in his presidency to end the sentences of 75 nonviolent drug offenders, according to The New York Times.
Biden also announced several new programs that are dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated people reenter the workforce, in an attempt to lower crime rates and prevent relapse into criminal behavior, The Associated Press reported.
“The Labor Department is directing $40 million toward programs that offer job training, pre-apprenticeship programs, digital literacy training and pre-release and post-release career counseling and more for youth and incarcerated adults,” The Associated Press stated.
The U.S. Labor and Justice Departments announced on Tuesday that they will provide $145 million in the next year for job skills training and individualized employment and reentry plans for people currently serving time in prison, according to The Associated Press.