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Obama commutes 46 people's prison sentences

People facing drug charges in California may be interested to learn that the Justice Department is working with Congress to change sentencing laws for nonviolent drug offenders. As part of this effort, the Obama administration has been taking action with respect to many nonviolent drug offenders who are serving prison sentences that are considered to be too long by today's standards.

On July 13, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 people who were serving prison sentences ranging from 20 years to life for nonviolent drug crimes. The White House stated that almost all of the people who have been made eligible for release have already served a long enough prison sentence based on today's sentencing laws.

President Obama delivered a letter to all of the people who were the subjects of the commutations in which he told them that they had each demonstrated the potential to turn their lives around. A White House blog stated that Obama was attempting to remedy unfairness in the criminal justice system in cases where the punishment far exceeded the crime. More people could have their sentences commuted in the near future, as the Justice Department has stated that it will continue to recommend candidates to the president.

People who have been accused of participating in unlawful drug activities may receive a much better outcome in their case if there are no charges filed against them for violent crimes. An attorney may be able to help a defendant to dispute any allegations of violence and seek the dismissal of those types of charges.

Source: NPR, "White House Announces Commutations For 46 Mostly Nonviolent Offenders," Krishnadev Calamur, July 13, 2015

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