President Barack Obama granted the commutation of sentences of 61 individuals nationwide today.
Three of those people were from Tennessee—two from Memphis and one from Knoxville.
According to Nolo.com, a "plain-English legal information site," commutation is a "form of clemency that reduces the punishment for a crime. It usually takes the form of a reduced ('commuted') prison term, but can also reduce court-ordered fines."
The following is information about the commuted persons and their sentences from a White House news release:
Nathan Carter, Memphis
- Offense: Possession of 121 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute; possession of 65.8 grams of cocaine base with intent to distribute; supervised release violation
- Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (April 30, 1999); 30 months' imprisonment; 18 months' supervised release; $10,000 fine (May 5, 1999)
Lamont Durville Glass, Knoxville
- Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; felon in possession of a firearm
- Sentence: 262 months' imprisonment; eight years' supervised release (Jan. 9, 1998)
Eric Smith, Memphis
- Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; unlawfully maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing and using cocaine base
- Sentence: 360 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (April 24, 1995)
"The power to grant pardons and commutations … embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws," Obama said in a prepared statement.
To date, Obama has commuted the sentences of 248 individuals, White House officials said.
Tomorrow, the White House will host a briefing to discuss Obama’s clemency initiative, a news release said. Officials said the public can tune in March 31 at 2 p.m. EDT by clicking here.