Drug offenders get a major break from Biden


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President Joe Biden just released his first batch of presidential pardons. The list makes Biden the first president since George H.W. Bush in 1989 to exercise his clemency powers during his first two years in office. 

According to the White House, 75 out of the 78 individuals named on his April 26 clemency list were nonviolent drug offenders. Biden commuted their sentences and pardoned three others.

“Today, I am pardoning three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities,” Biden stated in a White House press release.

“I am also commuting the sentences of 75 people who are serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses, many of whom have been serving on home confinement during the COVID-pandemic—and many of whom would have received a lower sentence if they were charged with the same offense today, thanks to the bipartisan First Step Act,” Biden also stated.

Those pardoned were: Abraham W. Bolden, Sr., of Chicago, who was a former Secret Service agent accused of trying to steal and sell Secret Service files in 1964; Betty Jo Bogans of Houston, who was convicted of possession with intent to distribute drugs in 1998; and Dexter Eugene Jackson, from Athens, Georgia. He was convicted in 2002 for letting distributors use the pool hall he owned to sell marijuana.

Biden also Tweeted:

Biden added that his administration was also announcing plans to provide additional support for those re-entering society after incarceration. Some of those steps mentioned include:

  • A new collaboration between the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Labor to provide job training
  • New grants for workforce development programs
  • Greater opportunities to serve in the federal government
  • Expanded access to capital for people with convictions trying to start a small business
  • Improved reentry services for veterans; and more support for health care, housing, and educational opportunities.  

You can find more information about those who were granted clemency or pardoned here.


This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.