Half of US Federal Prisoners Are in for Drugs; Obama Is Releasing Just 80 People

UPDATE, 13 July:

The White House announced on 13 July that it is granting clemency to just 46 Americans imprisoned for nonviolent drug charges under outdated sentencing rules.

51% US federal prisoners are in for nonviolent drug charges—hundreds of thousands of people. In spite of his ostensible commitment to commuting sentences for Americans imprisoned for nonviolent drug crimes under outdated laws, in his 6.5 years in office, Obama has released less than 90 people.

The letter Obama sent to the 46 commuted prisoners—in which the president patronizingly tells Americans imprisoned for outrageous nonviolent drug charges “I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around” and “remember that you have the capacity to make good choices”—is embedded below.

“Thousands of individuals have applied for commutation, and only a fraction of these applications are approved,” Obama writes. That is precisely the problem.

UPDATE, 5 July:

Democrats are once again applauding Obama for his “bravery.” The president announced he will be releasing a whopping 80 people who were imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses.

Over half (51%) of US federal prisoners are in for nonviolent drug offenses.

Drugs are the most common reason, by far, Americans are incarcerated in federal prisons.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses.

Yet the liberal press is lauding the president for supposedly “mov[ing] to reduce mass incarceration.”

The Democratic Party’s solution to the racist epidemic of mass incarceration is to release just four scores of prisoners—while simultaneously privatizing prisons and feeding the prison-industrial complex.

Prison abolitionist and civil rights activist Mariame Kaba (of the blog Prison Culture) did not mince her words vis-à-vis what is yet another of Obama’s betrayal of anything even remotely resembling progressive values.

(UPDATE, 13 July: Her account has since been made private, but the text of her tweets can be seen below, and screenshots of them have also been added.)

Letter Obama Sent to the 46 Commuted Prisoners

Download (PDF, 57KB)