Trump Grants Clemency to 5 Nonviolent Inmates Convicted of Drug, Financial Crimes

October 22, 2020 Updated: October 22, 2020

President Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentences of five nonviolent offenders who were convicted of drug and financial crimes but have since turned their lives around.

The White House announced on Oct. 21 that Trump had granted clemency to individuals who had made decisions to “improve their lives and the lives of others” while behind bars.

The grant of clemency for the individuals—four who were convicted on drug-related offenses and one financial—appeared to be backed by Alice Johnson, an African American woman whose nonviolent drug offense was commuted by Trump in 2018, according to The Associated Press. Johnson had spoken to the White House about the five cases, as well as others, during a visit in September.

“They all have served their time and have learned from their mistakes,” Johnson, who is now a criminal justice reform advocate, wrote on Twitter following the announcement.

Trump pardons Alice Johnson at the White House in Washington
Alice Johnson, who received a life sentence for a first-time drug offense, receives a pardon from President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, on Aug. 28, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Those who received a commutation on their prison sentence include Lenora Logan, who has served about 20 years in prison for her role in a cocaine conspiracy. When in prison, Logan served as a suicide watch companion, a nursing assistant for those in hospice care, and a leader of the praise and worship team. She was also recognized for coming to the aid of a Bureau of Prisons nurse who was attacked by another inmate.

“Without regard for her own safety, Ms. Logan immediately intervened and protected the life of the nurse. This heroic act is but one example of Ms. Logan’s selfless acts since forging a better path for her life,” the White House stated.

Rashella Reed was an Atlanta public school teacher before she was convicted for her role in a public benefits fraud scheme. During her time in prison, Reed used her background to tutor inmates and facilitate children’s programs. She was released on home confinement prior to the commutation.

Charles Tanner, a professional boxer, has served 16 years in prison for his role in a drug conspiracy. After he was incarcerated, Tanner enrolled in educational courses and has since completed hundreds of hours of educational programming, including an 18-month reentry program that requires recommendation from staff and approval from the warden for participation.

John Bolen, a small-business owner, served more than 13 years in prison for his role in transporting cocaine from the Bahamas to Florida. Bolen served as a suicide companion and a mental health companion and has completed more than 1,300 hours of educational programming and vocational training, and multiple reentry programs.

Curtis McDonald, 70, has served nearly 24 years of his life sentence in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering. During his time in prison, McDonald maintained employment and completed numerous educational courses. He also served as a mentor in the Mentors for Life program.

Since taking office, Trump has granted pardons to 27 people and clemency to 16 others, according to Justice Department data.

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