Obama commutes sentences of 95, 4 from Alabama - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Obama commutes sentences of 95, 4 from Alabama

resident Barack Obama speaks in his final press conference of the year Friday. (Source: Pool via CNN) resident Barack Obama speaks in his final press conference of the year Friday. (Source: Pool via CNN)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 95 prisoners and pardoned two more on Friday. 

Associated Press says the commutations and pardons are of a broader effort to rethink a criminal justice system that critics say has resulted in overly harsh and expensive sentences for thousands of drug offenders.

These commutations are the most that Obama has issued at one time, mainly benefiting nonviolent drug offenders.

READ MORE: Obama commutes sentences of 95, pardons 2 in year-end spree

AP says many of the drug offenders are serving long sentences for cocaine and crack crimes.

"The president's decision today to commute the prison terms of 95 individuals is another sign of this administration's strong commitment to ensuring fairness in the criminal justice system," Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said in a statement.

AP also said the announcement comes amid a bipartisan push to ease steep punishment for nonviolent offenders.

Julie Stewart, the president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, said in a statement after Friday's announcement that the "work is not done."

The President granted commutations of sentence to 95 individuals overall, however four of them are from Alabama and are listed below:

  • Oscar Cole, Jr. – Bessemer, AL

          Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute fifty (50) grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base & cocaine hydrochloride             (Northern District of Alabama)

          Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Sep. 21, 2006)

          Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.  

  • Reginald Gerard Ennis – Mobile, AL

          Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine (Southern District of Alabama)

          Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 22, 2004)

          Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

  • Billy R. Mercer, Jr. – Slapout, AL

          Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; use/carry firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Middle District             of Alabama)

          Sentence:  292 months’ imprisonment; 72 months’ supervised release (May 24, 2006)

          Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

  • Tommie Sand Tyree – Birmingham, AL

          Offense:  Distribution of 50 grams or more of “crack” cocaine (Northern District of Alabama)

          Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 96 months’ supervised release (Feb. 7, 2007)

          Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016. 

For a full list of the 95 individuals granted commutations of sentence from President Obama click here.

Copyright 2015 WAFF and Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Report an Error | Submit a Tip to WAFF 48

Powered by Frankly