Good Candidate for Mercy

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Good Candidate for Mercy

by baldilocks

From Allah­pun­dit at Hot Air:

Matthew Charles was con­victed of drug and weapons charges in the mid-​90s. He already had a record by the point so the feds argued that he was a “career offender.” He got 35 years — but was set free after 21 thanks to the Obama administration’s new guide­lines for offenses involv­ing crack, which were punished

[cap­tion id=“attachment_107216” align=“alignright” width=“200”] Matthew Charles[/caption]

at the time with far more dra­con­ian sen­tences than those for cocaine. In those 21 years in prison he found God and, by all accounts, became a new man.

From Nashville Pub­lic Radio:

Since his release in 2016, Charles has held a steady job. He vol­un­teers every Sat­ur­day, has recon­nected with his fam­ily, and started a seri­ous rela­tion­ship. But really, his reha­bil­i­ta­tion started years prior.

In prison, he took col­lege classes and cor­re­spon­dence courses, he taught a GED pro­gram and got cer­ti­fied as a law clerk. With his train­ing, he helped other incar­cer­ated men under­stand the judi­cial sys­tem long after their pub­lic defend­ers moved on to the next case.

Charles kept the secrets of those who were illit­er­ate so they wouldn’t face ridicule or harass­ment — he read them let­ters from the court and drafted fil­ings for them in the library. He orga­nized bible stud­ies and coun­seled new­com­ers. Two decades in fed­eral insti­tu­tions — from max­i­mum to low secu­rity — with­out a sin­gle dis­ci­pli­nary infraction.

AP again:

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment appealed his early release, argu­ing that Charles didn’t get his stiff 35-​year sen­tence because he had sold crack. He got it because he was a career offender. And the new Obama guide­lines said noth­ing about reduc­ing sen­tences for peo­ple like that.

An appel­late court, review­ing the record, agreed with the feds. The new sen­tenc­ing guide­lines didn’t apply in his case. (…)

And so Charles, despite hav­ing been released by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and lived as a free man for years, will have to go back to prison and serve another decade to atone for their error. “

Jus­tice? I agree with AP; Pres­i­dent Trump should com­mute this man’s sen­tence and, per­haps, keep him on a list of poten­tial pardons.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-​GoDaddy host!

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by baldilocks

From Allahpundit at Hot Air:

Matthew Charles was convicted of drug and weapons charges in the mid-90s. He already had a record by the point so the feds argued that he was a “career offender.” He got 35 years — but was set free after 21 thanks to the Obama administration’s new guidelines for offenses involving crack, which were punished

Matthew Charles

at the time with far more draconian sentences than those for cocaine. In those 21 years in prison he found God and, by all accounts, became a new man.

From Nashville Public Radio:

Since his release in 2016, Charles has held a steady job. He volunteers every Saturday, has reconnected with his family, and started a serious relationship. But really, his rehabilitation started years prior.

In prison, he took college classes and correspondence courses, he taught a GED program and got certified as a law clerk. With his training, he helped other incarcerated men understand the judicial system long after their public defenders moved on to the next case.

Charles kept the secrets of those who were illiterate so they wouldn’t face ridicule or harassment — he read them letters from the court and drafted filings for them in the library. He organized bible studies and counseled newcomers. Two decades in federal institutions — from maximum to low security — without a single disciplinary infraction.

AP again:

The federal government appealed his early release, arguing that Charles didn’t get his stiff 35-year sentence because he had sold crack. He got it because he was a career offender. And the new Obama guidelines said nothing about reducing sentences for people like that.

An appellate court, reviewing the record, agreed with the feds. The new sentencing guidelines didn’t apply in his case. (…)

And so Charles, despite having been released by the federal government and lived as a free man for years, will have to go back to prison and serve another decade to atone for their error. “

Justice? I agree with AP; President Trump should commute this man’s sentence and, perhaps, keep him on a list of potential pardons.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!