Don't like to read?
Today, President Joe Biden will be pardoning three felons and 75 non-violent drug offenders.
Among those pardoned will be Abraham Bolden, aged 86. He was the first African-American Secret Service Agent to serve under a president during the Kennedy administration. He was arrested in 1964 on charges relating to selling a Secret Service file. Bolden repeatedly denied this allegation. After two trials, he was convicted even though witnesses said they lied at the request of the prosecution, according to a White House factsheet.
Bolden was sentenced to six years in prison. He has been recognized for his courage in standing up against racism in the Secret Service in the ’60s.
At this time in his presidency, Biden has granted clemency to more people than the past five presidents, according to a senior White House official. Donald Trump pardoned 143 people, and former President Barack Obama issued 212 pardons and commuted 1,715 sentences during his two terms in office.
Betty Jo Bogans will be pardoned by Biden today. She is 51 years old and is a single mom in Houston, Texas. She was sentenced in 1998 for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. She was transporting the drugs for her boyfriend and his friend. Neither of whom was arrested for this crime, reported the White House. Bogans was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The president reported she has maintained a job for the past two decades while undergoing cancer treatment and taking care of her child, since her release.
Fifty-two-year-old Dexter Jackson from Georgia went to prison for allowing his pool hall to be used for marijuana drug “transactions.” Once he was released from prison, Jackson transformed his pool hall into a cellular repair store. He hires high school students through a program who are looking to gain work experience. He has also helped rebuild homes in his community, according to the White House.
Most of the people Biden had commuted were serving long prison sentences. Due to the pandemic, they are currently living in home confinement. These people were serving or served time for nonviolent drug charges. Today, they would receive a lesser sentence for the same crime.
Written by Jeanette Vietti
CNBC: Biden to grant clemency to 78 people, including pardon for former Secret Service agent; by Dareh Gregorian
MarketWatch: President Biden grants first pardons and commutations of his term; by Associated Press
USA TODAY: Biden to pardon three felons, commute sentences of 75 others, in first grants of clemency; by Joey Garrison
Featured Image Courtesy of Radek Kucharski’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Olli Homann’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License